The Struggle for human attention : between the abuse of social media and digital wellbeing

Santiago Giraldo Luque, Pedro Nicolás Aldana Afanador, Cristina Fernández-Rovira

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20 Cites (Scopus)


Human attention has become an object of study that defines both the design of interfaces and the production of emotions in a digital economy ecosystem. Guided by the control of users' attention, the consumption figures for digital environments, mainly social media, show that addictive use is associated with multiple psychological, social, and physical development problems. The study presented develops a theoretical proposal regarding attention. In the first part, the research analyzes how attention has been studied and how it behaves using three disciplines: neurophysiology, neuropsychology, and economics. In the second part, considering this general framework, the study uses categories of the three disciplines to explain the functioning of social media, with special emphasis on their interactive, attractive, and addictive design. Finally, the article presents, as a practical example of the exposed theory, the main results of two case studies that describe social media consumption among young people. The research shows the relevance of the theoretical study of attention as a key element by which to understand the logics that dominate the interactive design of social media. It also uses a multidisciplinary perspective. The addictive behaviors identified in the two examples support the theoretical proposals and open research lines oriented to the measurement and understanding of the attention given to social media.
Idioma originalEnglish
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2020


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