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Online Privacy and Security Toolkit: Attention Hacking: How to Get Your Offline Life Back

Tools, tips, and tricks to take control of your online presence and stay safer on the web.

What is Attention Hacking?

"Attention Hacking" refers to the general concept of digital service developers intentionally designing their products to attract the maximum amount of engagement from users. For example: alerts that encourage users to check certain apps more often, algorithms that produce seemingly endless streams of content on your Facebook or Instagram feed, and what have you. The most successful developers take advantage of human psychology and neurology to do this. While not inherently bad, attention hacking have proved to be unsettlingly successful at keeping users glued to their screens for hours at a time, day after day. 

As the years go by and our collective attention span continues to dwindle due to the effects of attention hacking, more and more people are becoming concerned about this issue. It doesn't feel good in the moment to look up from your phone only to realize an hour has gone by since you opened up your favorite social media app "just to check." And in the long term, there are real concerns that we are doing irreversible damage to our ability to focus offline: on our work, on our social connections, on ourselves.

While attention hacking is not directly related to online privacy and security, it is perhaps of much greater day-to-day relevance to the average Internet user, and therefore just as much deserving of space dedicated to resources to help fight against it.

Further Readings

Restore Balance

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