Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM - I just read an article the other day, I think it was on Steemit, about how Facebook is becoming really aggressive in getting people to pay attention there. Seems they understand that this is an attention economy. So as my small act of defiance, I found the notifications setting for the Facebook app on my phone and turned it off.
Then I looked at my settings for Chrome for notifications. I turned off notifications for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, too. Then I went back to my phone and turned off notifications for Instagram, Google+, Twitter and anything else that is either advertising or linked to a mainstream media source.
I'm keeping Minds.com and Telegram. I think they might be useful, but I can say for sure that I've been disabused of the value of mainstream media and social media. I'm so done with the old politics, the old guard and the talking heads. And this is coming from a Baby Boomer.
I am developing a serious inhibition to participating on social media platforms that do not pay me with equity in the platform. Steemit pays me. The mirror to Steemit, busy.org, pays me. I've seen the Whales around here and they are making a nice daily income by building and maintaining a huge stake in the platform. I think they call it "sweat equity". I'm working for that sweat equity here, on Steemit.
I also read an interesting article on Medium about Bitcoin futures. I'm keeping the notifications on for Medium, too. They are trying to figure out how to pay their content creators, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Anyway, an experienced futures trader, M.C. Ross, has written a very illuminating article on Bitcoin futures and how they could affect the Bitcoin market. In, Five reasons why futures could hurt the price of Bitcoin, he points out that the value of Bitcoin is not just the market capital, it's the attention paid to Bitcoin. Here is the nugget of the article:
Central banks are perplexed by bitcoin. They know that the more people use cryptocurrencies and not their own currencies, the less belief and importance people will place in their dollars, euros and yen. Because of this, they might try to lower the price and demand for bitcoins. At the moment, as bitcoin sees its price rise and rise, it only attracts the attention of people, and takes attention away from other, government backed currencies. People who use cryptocurrencies have seen a rise in value, and cryptocurrencies have been especially helpful for people who live in countries with unstable currencies. People are awakening to the alternatives of cryptocurrencies. Central banks don’t want everybody turning away from their currencies and going into crypto, and they are scared that people could do so. (emphasis mine)
That article was written in mid-December around the height of the rally in the cryptocurrency markets last year. Ross rightly points out that governments are now seeing that the attention economy can have a profound effect on the value of currencies, including digital currencies. Governments worldwide are beginning to see what may be an existential threat to their currency: cryptocurrency. The point here is that everything we do, whether it be work or recreation, requires our attention. Governments and very large corporations are starting to show signs of anxiety about where the people are pointing their attention.
That means we must be doing something right here on Steemit. We must be doing something right with cryptocurrencies. We must be doing something right with alternative media sources and reporting. All that we must do is keep going, keep growing and never look back on conventional social media the same way, again.
We must avert our gaze. We must be the change we want to see.