You become what you agree to attend to.
And your freedom turns on it.
Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.William James
The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.
And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.
Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.
Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.Evan Thompson
Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it:
Down by the bay I
kept in mind
the tips of all the rushleaves
came to know
balance’s cost and true:
somewhere though in the whole field
is the one
I will someday lose out of mind
and fall through.