The Anxiety Economy
The modern internet drowns us in a shallow breadth of information, while consistently ramping up content production. In the same interview, Naval Ravikant points out that “the human brain is not designed to absorb all the world’s breaking news.” He goes further, adding, “If you get addicted, your brain will get destroyed.” Unfortunately, our minds are programmed to pay attention to every stimulating Tweet or Like directed our way.
The majority of information we consume serves only to steal attention, rather than delivering tangible value. This dizzying array of inputs throws our mental equilibrium off balance. Thus, the anxiety economy is born.
Despite operating in separate worlds of influence, Naval’s reference to the state of media consumption as the “modern struggle” is eerily similar to Witte’s illustration of “modern times.” This defining struggle of our time represents a challenge in drawing boundaries around the information flows that you allow in and out of your brain.
Without such boundaries, your mind — and your attention — will fall into disarray. Critically, without these clearly defined boundaries, states of creative flow cannot be achieved.