ATTENTION-GRABBING HEADLINE

My dreams recently have been lucid as fuck. To the extent that sometimes I need to take a few minutes in the morning after I wake up to establish what was real and what wasn’t. Yeah, they’re that vivid. A lot of the time it’s extremely easy to figure that out. Like yeah, I’m almost certain I didn’t see a human-sized ant perform at the Sydney Opera House, and yeah I’m quite sure my house wasn’t invaded by a team of lesbian KBG members. I have been enjoying them though. Sometimes they can be a little too vivid and creep me out but most of the time they’re quite creative and outrageous and it’s a lot of fun to reminisce about them while eating my breakfast.

It got me thinking the other day. Dreams are chaotic. They lack logic, they aren’t limited to the laws of nature. Our imaginations just decide to go fucking nuts and have a party. But maybe it shows something deeper about our neurological pathways. Maybe the lack of logic and coherent thinking, while we are in a state of deep sleep, is a telltale of the way our brains function.

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We know that when we are being sold, i.e when someone is trying to get us to take a certain action or think a certain way, there are a lot of things affecting our brains. Salespeople know that we buy fear. No one want’s to miss out on the next big thing, and no one wants to the weirdo who doesn’t have this cool new toy. ‘Hey look that guy doesn’t have a fidget spinner, what a FAG’. Salespeople also know that we will buy from people we trust. If you wanted to buy a new iPhone, would you be more likely to buy it from an official Apple store or some guy who came up to you on the street trying to sell one to you? Even if the random stranger had a brand new iPhone in an unopened package, you’d still be more likely to go to the Apple store, because you don’t know this guy but you do know Apple, it has a reputation and is trusted.

Salesmen also know that people are more likely to buy from those who are a figure of authority. And this one can be seen everywhere, even if you are not a salesman, you are still selling something. Usually yourself, and not in the way you’re probably thinking of…no, you’re always selling your story. In college, the workplace or wherever you may be, the most popular people in the room are always the ones with the most authority. And that has knock-on effects as people are more likely to like someone or something if lots of other people like it or them. So when it comes to our ‘logical’ brains it really has nothing to do with logic.

In fact, it has everything to do with emotion. Our emotions are sold more than anything else. Since the birth of marketing, people have gone wild with the success and money they have made by dreaming up creative ways to get the general public to buy their goofy products. Remember the tulip mania? Yeah me neither, it happened over 400 years ago. But during those crazy few months in the 1630’s, the prices of tulip bulbs went from a few cents to a fortune, some bulbs were bought for prices that would resemble the price of a house today. How could something of this magnitude of stupidity actually happen? You can be damn certain that peoples emotions were played with so hard that it would put an Instagram slut to shame.

Our brains are easily manipulated and easily tricked. Attention is now the most valuable commodity on the planet. With the introduction of social media, these platforms figured out how to not only catch and hold our attention but also how to monetise it. If you’ve ever been to Times Square in NYC, you’ll know that it’s difficult not to look up. The flashing billboards and the pretty lights, it’s all so consuming. And it’s a weird one because you know they’re trying to get your attention and you realise they’re doing a good job of it, and you want to look away but you just can’t because the lights are just so GoDAmn PURTY!

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Capture someones attention and you can reel them in like a crazed fisherman determined to get his catch. That’s why Facebook is moving towards video, it’s attention-grabbing, it stimulates so many parts of our brains. I’ve noticed this after going back to social media. Even though I’m using it for business, I still lots of videos and other useless shit popping up on my timeline. And it only strengthens my standpoint on social media, because I’d find myself fully engrossed in these stupid videos, and it’s so difficult to turn them it off. I saw it with my brother the other day as well, my mother and I were doing some work in the kitchen and he was sitting on the couch, watching video after video after video, and he had the volume turned the full way up. I could tell from the sound of them that they were completely mind-numbingly stupid, but he was there watching them for a solid 30 minutes. 30 minutes down the drain, never to be recovered.

It’s true what they say, time is money. But its only money if you value it. And the only way to value your time is to value yourself. I’ll leave it there.

Cormac

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