The attention economy is a huge topic, and not without merit. It's an incredibly valuable resource from a user interface and marketing perspective. I think attention is increasingly being treated as a currency, especially in social media where the competition for eyeballs in fierce.
Instead of the saying time is precious, maybe it should be attention is precious. I was watching my hamster run on his wheel. He alternates between running for about 15 seconds and getting off the wheel to check his surroundings for 5 seconds. I thought to myself, huh, that must be how I look when I'm studying.
Perhaps the attention economy has ruined my attention. If every company fights for a mere 5 seconds of the average individual's attention (think YouTube and other short-form ads) that doesn't bode well for my ability to concentrate. If the average person is currently 25 years old, lives to 100 years, spends half their time engaging life-preserving measures (cooking, cleaning, and working) and sleeps 8 hours per day, that person has 13,140,000 waking minutes, 146,000 waking hours, or 9,125 waking days, or 25 waking years worth of attention to give.
That person, if time is spent wisely, could probably master 2-3 skills in their lifetime, at best, if the attention is spent wisely.