• 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?
  • What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why? 
  • What is the value of distraction/how do you think value is extracted from distraction?

And also:

Affective engagements do not relate only to the small ‘nuggets of data’ that S. Paasonen was referring to. As the complementary readings address, intense affective engagements have various temporal forms. That is the case of unboxing videos and ASMR. Using different strategies (one kind from another), both genres have in common the use of techniques that incite (or intend to) a sensorial engagement. Unboxing videos evoke tactile and affective memory (a birthday present?) and play with anticipation, expectation, surprise. ASMR videos (as Rodrigo developed here), try to appeal to our senses through augmented yet soft audio, invoking experiences with high affective quality–not necessarily pleasurable.

Some COVID-19 related examples:

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.


Week #11 – Response

  • 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 that a big factor of social media that is making us seem less and less human is the idea that it is making us more and more lazy. In your video you talked about the fact that facebook has now added the option to react to something,  these reactions once again are making us so lazy to the point that we do not even write out our thoughts anymore. These little emoji’s use tp be at the end of our message to complete what we had types out, wear as now our entire message is that one little symbol. iMessage has also started their version of this with one being them allowing the reaction to be haha! I find it unbelievable that we live in a place that we are now too lazy and it woudl take to long to type out haha so we make it a simple button that can be pressed.

Eventually this is going to limit more and more what we are able to say on social media as we are moving to a more symbol based culture. Even though the symbols are easy to use and fun they create massive limitations as to what can be said through them. If we keep going in this direction we will only be able to react to what we see online through a sad emoji or a happy one, and never trully express the way that we feel.

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

I associate distraction with disinterest, when something does not interest me I will get distracted by whatever I can find around because doing anything but the task i am suppose to do would be more appealing. I think that we turn to distraction in order to find something else than what we are told to do. The task that we are often distracted from is very rarely something that we want or choose to do. When we are doing something for ourselves or something we wanted to do without anyone telling us to do it, we get distracted much less often.

Emilie – week #11

Emilie – COMS 308 week #11

Also, here are my answers to the questions for this week.

  • What type of emotion do you associate distraction with? Why?
    • I associate distraction with happiness but also annoyance. In fact, most of the time when I am looking for distraction is because I have nothing to do. Hence, happiness comes to mind because it allows me to pass time while keeping myself busy by simply checking random things on my phone. However, in cases where I use distraction to distract me from being productive, I feel annoyed because of the things I am trying to run away from doing which are boring but I also feel annoyed at myself for putting them back when I could be getting them done faster if I simply focused on these particular things instead of distracting myself with often pointless browsing.
  • What is the value of distraction/how do you think value is extracted from distraction?
    • As Paasonen states it, “the value of distraction is about the generation of monetary value”. The way I understand it, there are two ways that companies profit from distraction which enhances its value. First, you have the websites like Facebook who generate its newsfeed around distraction. The more the people scroll and are distracted, the more they generate money by clicking on ads, sharing posts, etc. On the other side, there are apps like it is mentioned in the article that also profit from distraction by helping people not get distracted by shutting off their access for a determined amount of time. In a sense, these companies also profit from having more distraction because it means that people are more likely to require these types of apps in order to be able to get serious work done. In either case, distraction value is determined by the amount of money that this distraction will bring for companies that profit off of their users’ distraction.

Sarah-week #11

In the text, I found it interesting how the value of distraction and attention is brought up into the subject of social media. Being a tool that most of us consume on a regular basis, is something that takes a lot from a person (time, attention and confidence for certain). “When browsing through Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tinder, Facebook, Mashable, Twitter, Distractify, or whatever it is that currently tickles one’s fancy, individual attention quickly and constantly shifts. In fact, the attraction of much social media derives precisely from its power to distract” Social media itself has a hold on its user. Social media is made to attract users and gain attention from its purpose. In my opinion, clickbait is one of many strategies to distract users into this world of posting and sharing.

Emotions associated with distraction?

Value of distraction?

Is distraction voluntary? Does this make it more or less distractive?

Are unboxing videos a tool to engage us in consumerism?

7 replies
  1. Juliette
    Juliette says:

    Answer to Sarah Lubin on unboxing –
    It’s very interesting to compare this phenomenon with porn. It’s sad that today people are fascinated with plastic products instead of being focused on their well being and the planet’s. I think that by watching people do “hauls” and stuff, we vicariously consume the products and I think that is what intrigue us so much, the consummation. I think the generation of my parents might be less interested in these kinds of videos maybe because they have less desire to consume constantly. While my generation by instance, are used to consume, shop and buy more frequenlty. So it’s normal that when they are not in a shop or consuming something, they spend their time looking at these videos and consuming the products with the youtuber…

  2. Antonia Hernández
    Antonia Hernández says:

    [From Théo]
    1) The distraction like a youtube video for exemple is a distraction not by the fact that we click on it but just by its being. We indeed are the ones participating in the distraction because we are the only ones to decide if we do an action or not. But in the case of youtube videos, we continue the distraction that is imposed to us, social media and their consumption is so embedded in our daily lives that we don’t tend to consider those platforms as distraction, while when they just appeared they were a way to be distracted, and keeps on working this way. Moreover, the UX/UI design of those platforms make you engage more and more with the platform and somehow forces you to continue being distracted. So indeed we take the decision to be distracted but the cultural embedment and habit doesn’t allow us to see the platform as a distraction in itself. Even though, even if we had not those platforms we would find a way to get distracted by other platforms or other forms of platforms.

  3. Juliette
    Juliette says:

    Answer to Francesca’s story
    Sadly I think the line between work and free time is so blurred that people are going to get even more lost into their social medias, also considering the need to connect, to be reassured and to have access to information will probably increase online interactions.

  4. Sarah Lubin
    Sarah Lubin says:

    (Reply on Francesca’s story)
    I think that with the regulations on Covid-19 I believe that people will be more on their screens only because a lot of them might be working from home and at the same time, be following closely what is happening in the world right now. I think that they will still be dividing their attention into differents screens but in other scenery. At this very moment, there is a lot more going on on social media platforms and I don’t think that this kind of distraction will ever be diminished.

  5. Long Xi
    Long Xi says:

    Responding to Sarah’s story
    I wonder if its interesting to consider how social media’s power to district overlaps with technology’s aesthetic of focus. On one hand many aspects of social media websites use clickbait to distract (like posts on feeds, etc.), while on the other hand Paasonen does not touch on how certain aesthetics, like the black boxes of videos, or the darkened webpage of movie streaming services, can create focus. Or that even on a social media feed, while the content of the feed distracts, the column of the page focuses our eye to the middle of the screen. It’s interesting to consider distraction, but also how it constantly interplays with a desire for our focus and attention, as well as the trained eye in non-attention.

    • Long Xi
      Long Xi says:

      Response to Francesca
      I actually think that people will have worse attention spans while in isolation during this crisis; while it does give people more time to be holed up and perhaps focus on creating or consuming art, etc., people are used to their routines, and this interruption will not only distract focus but give people too much time to which they are not used to. Antonia made a great point to me when she said art and creation requires movement, and I think that is true. All this time being still in one place will make us unproductive, because without the world we are used to, we are uninspired. Too much time looking inward can leave us exhausted, and without the energy to create outward, if that makes sense.

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