Forum. As we well know, social networks, instant messengers, apps, booking, news, watch videos… all to keep their users for as long as possible on their pages. They can collect data on them, to expose them to the broadcasting of personalized advertisements. This is what is called the attention economy. But the genesis and the methods of what became a veritable science of practice, as well as psychological disorders and social it can cause, are less well known.
At the end of the Nineteenth century, the sociologist and psychologist Gabriel Tarde (1843-1904) studies and develops a theory then competing with the sociology of Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), the father of sociology modern, through books such as The Laws of imitation (1890), Monadologie et sociologie (1893), The Opinion and the crowd (1901) and Psychology economic (1902). He describes the ways of holding the attention (techniques of retention), water becoming scarce in a context of overabundance of information and products.
The Web designers apply without knowing some of these methods, as taught inter alia at Stanford university, in his Persuasive Tech Lab. Such as, for example, the ” captologie “, that is to say the study of computer science and digital technologies as a tool of influence and persuasion of individuals ” (according to the definition of Wikipedia). Or the nudge (” nudge “), according to which “any suggestions indirect can, without forcing, can influence the motives, incentives and decision making of groups and individuals” (Wikipedia).
These techniques retention play, among others, on the infamous “FOMO” (fear of missing out, fear of missing something, a new, an event) and our ” immoderate taste for…