session 11 Jared

What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why?

I associate frustration with distraction. Often times I am not distracted because I want to be but because I do not have a choice, I see the beauty in others being distracted in a sense of doing positive things with it. For myself there is never a moment where I am distracted on things that will progress my life forward. Frustration comes out of distraction because of a lack of interest in a task at hand. For example, it has taken me two weeks get to actually start writing this response because I have been distracted by things that are more entertaining to my zero-attention span brain.


What is the value of distraction/how do you think value is extracted from distraction?

The value of distraction in a more personal sense can lead an individual to discover something that they wouldn’t usually be interested in if their main focus wasn’t very attention grabbing. In a more economical sense, many people do not enjoy what they are doing on a day to day basis, so people’s distraction can result to a monetary value. The companies that can find out the source of your distraction can earn advertising dollars from your new found interests.

Long Xi Session 11

I feel that distraction perhaps does not associate with any one emotion, but a lack-of-emotion. In the real world, when left with ourselves in a pure form, have only ourselves and our emotions, our thoughts. Any objects, environments, or experiences around that can change or form our further emotions, but perhaps online content, the internet and real-world environments are also distracting ourselves from our pure emotion. Distraction is at once the inundation with emotions through alluring forms and the lack of emotion in distracting ourselves from what’s inside. I think distraction is valuable, after all, our entire systems of society could arguably be a distraction. But I think it keeps us occupied, and can keep us from being left with an existential feeling of the absurdity of life.

I think its interesting how ASMR videos blur the line between distraction and attention; while they still use strategies on sites like Youtube to capture your attention/distract you from other content, like using exciting titles or thumbnails, they ultimately offer a different type of sobered distraction once you click. The enjoyment of ASMR videos is rooted in total and unfettered capture of attention through the use of immersive sound and external technologies (high-quality mics, and noise-cancelling headphones). While capturing attention, they offer an important distraction in a virtual form to a world perhaps hectic and therefore where peace is unattainable in the outside world. However, ASMR is not always immersive or peaceful; it can be jarring, aggressive, sad, arousing, funny etc. ASMR, in many forms, can capture all sorts of attentions and fundamentally distracts at the same time. This captures what Paasonen claims to be an interweaved network of both attention and distraction in networked connectivities

Sarah – Question respond

In which sense sociality in social media is not only human? How/where do you see that? What is the role of affect in that entanglement?

I think I can answer by saying that social media like Instagram for example, yes it requires the sociality of followers/people who decides to interact with your content but the part where it becomes not only human, I am tempted to say numbers. Only because when you reach a certain place with likes or subscribers, the person behind the account turns into this person that feels pressure to keep up with the status of the platform. It becomes less human when something you do for fun becomes something you have to do to be able to be happy. If I can take another example that is very common nowadays which is burnout related to content creators. A lot of them after a while of dedicating their time to creating and keeping their audience entertained are tired of working so hard. From this, many of them always say that they don’t feel like their true self. This is when they always tell us that overwork themselves for the sake of entertainment.

My response session 11

I normally associate my distraction with eating to decrease negative emotions like being highly anxious/stressed, overthinking, boredom or when I feel alone. Distraction is anything you do to take your attention off of strong emotions you are feeling. However, the effect of ASMR plays a huge role for me personally when a I am stressed or cannot sleep for instance I watch ASMR videos which relax me and calm me down. This can be distracting for me at times since I tend to watch many of different videos about ASMR.

Francesca Week 11 Question Reply

What emotion do you associate with distraction? Why?


My first instinct is to associate distraction with boredom, but I feel like it would be more accurate to say that I associate it with feelings of passivity. I don’t just get distracted because i’m bored necessarily, but more so that I am not making a conscious effort to focus on what I am doing and then, not on purpose and without realizing it, my mind slowly shifts to other things and before I know it my brain has moved on. It is not that I am looking for distractions because I am bored, but that when I don’t actively engage with something that I tend to get distracted. 

Juliette week 11

  1. In which sense sociality in social media is not only human? How/where do you see that? What is the role of affect in that entanglement?

Our communications become sur-human for many reasons. For example, we use emoticones instead of looking into the details of someone’s facial emotions to communicate. We understand information through a numbers of codes like LOL, brb, nvm, :), :(. Our social skills are still useful when talking with people online, but this activity requires us to change out expectations from the conversation. We don’t mind expressing thoughts without receiving a clear answer when, in “real life”, when we adress something to a certain person, we expect a dynamic conversation to follow. Also, when we are on social medias and online platforms, we loose sight of reality. For example, we might know we have a lot of things to do, like homework, but we keep scrolling on our feed for one hour, maybe even two, keeping that thought in the back of our head “I really have to let go of my phone right now”. But were unable to do so. So, even our own will is not enough to control our actions, we are hypnotized. That is pretty dehumanizing on my opinion. If being human is our capacity to love, understand and communication, then scrolling a facebook feed limits a lot of these actions. For example, we begun to fonction like a machine, scanning the codes on our screen to find one that is catchy, new,  bright and entertaining. So our eyes are like machines, searching for content, more than they are for us to discovers micro expressions, understand languages ect

  • What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why? 

I associate it with escapism, often sadness, the need to not think to not be in your own shoes. Or stress management, when I have a lot to do, I “allow” myself some time to wander off the web. But the problem with that is that I never respect my own limits, like addiction.

“Let’s get this thing open”: the pleasures of unboxing videos, Sharif Mowlabocus (2018)

The author talks about the pleasures of unboxing, a video genre that became popular in the YouTube world of producing. The author focuses his research on the subject by regrouping the 20 most popular unboxing videos that were trending on YouTube. He targeted his subject around the unboxing of different smartphones being released in the market and gathers the main point of the success of such entertainment video.

The first impact found from the research is the consequences resulting from unboxing videos; it is revenue. The creators of unboxing videos gain a lot of money from this kind of entertainment the research counts between 1.9 million dollars to 4.8 million dollars. Secondly, these videos attract audiences to the point of spectatorship. Where the author explains the link between spectatorship and commercial pornography and how consumers are totally compelled to be taken into the video as a work of art. He continues by saying how the presentation of the unboxing itself reflexes the work and composition of pornography with the multiple angles, the difference between the shots (close-up, wide,) and the combination of the gaze of the camera.

The author also mentions a journey of discovery where the audience gets drawn into this narrative where “the viewer is invited to discover the new device alongside the reviewer”. Again, the audience is apart from this process of unboxing and can display comments on the subject. Unboxing videos encourage the viewers to be included in this movement by suggesting these smartphones and every facet appealing to the product. He concludes his research by saying that these unboxing videos even if they sound like a weird genre of production, reflect the sensation of want and need from the viewer and mainly curiosity.


  • From the notion of distraction around the internet and social media, does a genre of popular videos being made on YouTube purse can be identified as something distracting if the viewers are voluntarily the ones clicking out of curiosity?
  • As mentioned in Paasonon’s text, our attention is constantly split into different platforms, screens, and social media. Mainly, “the aspiration to capture attention has become increasingly manifest as an essential component of value production”. Are unboxing videos considered as a work of art that attracts spectatorship is one of many tools to engage in consumerism and capitalism?