I first started thinking about the impact of smart phones and the multitude of small ways they are changing society while travelling. I was staying at a hostel in Guatemala that turned the wi-fi off after 7PM to encourage guests to put down their phones and talk to each other. After that I began to be more aware of using my phone as a crutch during downtime and of hostel common areas filled with people but eerily silent as we all typed away on our phones.

I’ve since started to read and learn about some of the negative impacts that phone use, push notifications and particular apps or services can have on us – on our attention spans, our mental health, our ability to focus and complete tasks. I’ve experimented with turning off notifications, hiding my phone in a drawer while working or deleting apps all together.

While working on building a mobile app for the food waste startup I work at, I read more about the psychology behind development and some of the mental hooks developers can use to keep people engaged (for good or bad).

This site documents my attempt to understand more about the attention economy, how and why it works the way it does and the impact it has on our lives.