We invite you to join the 2020 Digital Detox, which will focus on attention in the digital attention economy. As with previous Detoxes, the 2020 Detox will offer two email-based newsletters in the month of January filled with information, reflections, activities, and resources to help you engage with this topic.

This Detox topic is inspired by what is happening in our world as technology tools and platforms continue to demand our attention with the primary purpose of extracting our data. But we’re not just moved to address this topic because of how fraught things have become (though that’s a huge part of it); we’re also inspired by the work of scholars, technologists, policy organizations, and more who are working to help all of us deal with and even resist what’s happening.

One such scholar for me is Jenny Odell who published How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. It is her book that will shape the first newsletter in the series, which I’ve cheekily titled The Problem with Digital Detoxes.

I will leave you with this nugget from her book’s introduction:

“…I am opposed to the way that corporate platforms buy and sell our attention, as well as to designs and uses of technology that enshrine a narrow definition of productivity and ignore the local, the carnal, and the poetic. I am concerned about the effects of current social media on expression–including the right not to express oneself–and its deliberately addictive features. But the villain here is not necessarily the Internet, or even the idea of social media; it is the invasive logic of commercial social media and its financial incentive to keep us in a profitable state of anxiety, envy, and distraction.” (p. xii)

Ready to join the 2020 Digital Detox on Attention in the Attention Economy? Sign up today

The image in the Detox poster was created by Kyle Bowen on classhack.com and generously shared with a CC-BY-SA license. On our printed posters, we used a purple-fied version of his image which, since we are asked to Share Alike, we are sharing below with a CC-BY-SA license.