Rewilding Attention

This post by Tom Critchlow has got me thinking (via

i love the term "rewilding your attention," as if our attention and writing have become too domesticated, and we need nature again to reset. to find our true voice.

It puts me in mind of Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing (post to come), and several other things, including the simple fact that our attention is for sale on social media, and our voices become so influenced by the many words grabbing our attention these days that our voices either drown in the flood of them, or say only what is most popular right now.

Instead, what if we could find a smaller circle within which to be heard, to listen closely to a few others (even those with whom we disagree!) and engage in real dialogue?

This might be a form of "slow attention," in the way that food or other things might be slow.

In this way, a blog like this is slow and slightly wild. It’s seen by readers who care about what I have to say, and who can expect that I read their work regularly, or when I find it of value. We can leave comments and have a conversation, but not an instant one, nor even read more than a few times a day at most. We have an ongoing relationship, not one that is dropped on a whim, trusting that one person’s work has value for the other.

In this way, these slow, wild attention economies are more like real-life relationships. As with your neighbors and friends, there is trust, there is a longer-term getting to know one another, there is deep conversation, and even mutual benefit. Perhaps, someday, we’ll borrow cups of sugar from one another as well.

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