Attention bargain

X minutes read

It is right at the top of the article/blog post.

I wonder who invented it. What for?

Was it manually calculated at first? Did they ask a group of people to read it and then averaged the reading time?

I've noticed that my brain does not pay attention to those metrics anymore; and as I read slow, it is an underestimated value anyway. In any case, I stopped from measuring everything, from playing the optimization game where I try to slam down as many activities as possible every single day—a strategy that never made me any happier.

Some days I struggle to get focused. My monkey mind jumps in frenzy from one thing to another. Metrics ain’t going to help with that.

Why do you tell me the time-price in advance? Is it a selling strategy?

A myriad of little shiny things compete for our attention every day, we hardly notice anymore. “5 min. read” seems cheap, it's like 5 cents.

Feeds, streams, clickbaits, algorithms. Drip by drip, our time is stolen. All of it feels like a bargain for our attention, an open market where it is traded and a few make huge profits but everyone else lose.