Thursday, March 15, 2007

How We Get Attention

In this alleged "attention economy" I've been thinking lately about how we get attention. Especially when you consider using an application like Twitter where getting attention is a big part of the appeal, it occurred to me that people still get attention the way they learned to get attention as children.

If you got attention at age 5 by being Daddy's Little Girl and smiling, your online attention reflects that.

If you got attention by throwing tantrums or being nasty, you'll play that card online.

If you got attention as a kid by being funny, you'll yuck it up in e-ville.

If you got attention by being brilliant, you're the "know-it-all" online and you just can't help yourself from sharing one more link and one more fascinating article with others.

And then there are the kids who actually got enough attention when they were five, and they don't need to do anything online to get attention. In fact, they probably don't find being online all that appealling. They probably don't get it.