You are both the observer and the observed. As you change your behavior, your changes can be invisibly inscribed.
#3209 Created 10/28/2012 Updated 02/06/2018
It is important to clarify the way in which we use the word "behavior". There are many fields which study human behavior, and particular vocabularies have evolved. Naturally, they have used up all the good words.
In the traditional context, behavior is frequently construed as a measurement and analysis of human activities (actions, reactions, thoughts, beliefs, associations), with a look to both context, and change over time. It is a dense subject that manifests in many related academic disciplines.
The Attention Field demands a different kind of view, because it is not a time-based system. It exists entirely in the present. Because it is a field, a standing structure of pure information that exists in the moment (right now, for example)(and now)(etc.), it is something that can change from moment to moment, as the information changes. But it does not represent a story, a plot, an unfolding of some progression of events.
Each moment is unique, from a data perspective. Each moment represents a certain configuration of individuals, in certain relationships to other people, and in relationships with certain organizations, and with certain products, and content.
At each moment, the data field can be queried, or acted upon, taking advantage of the knowledge of the relationships of the individuals and other things. And, at the next moment, the data field can again be queried, or acted upon, in a similar manner.
Moment after moment. Endlessly. It's field, a place where energy is harnessed to accomplish work. Like an electric motor.
Consumers are only on the internet "now". "Now", in the sense that they are in the Attention Field only when they are paying attention. Duh. If you're not there, etc. Consumers come and go from the field in the sense of attention, but they are eternal in the field in the sense of live data, even to the point of the field "knowing" their precise physical location in real time.
And by "knowing", of course, I mean "doesn't know" and "doesn't care", but the information is there (if you phone is on, for example) to be examined by the right process, right now.
When we talk about behavior, we discuss it from two views: 1) from a traditional view of the consumer whose pattern of consumption in relation to media is changing over time, in a way that we can label as a "trend"; and 2) as a momentary view of the consumer, engaged (or trapped) in the Attention Field in a particular way, at a particular moment, with a particular intricate web of current relationships to the entire world.
As an online consumer, you are both the observer and observed. Over a period of time, as you are browsing Web pages, the pages are measuring and tagging you. You click softly through the internet landscape, leaving footprints and fingerprints everywhere. You see, and you also are seen. Every glance, every gesture, every click can become an additional characteristic associated with your "profile". As you change your behavior, your changes can be invisibly inscribed.
But that inscribed "you" is just a data set. Yes, it changes over time, but it is used in the moment. Your profile is examined and extracted and grouped and categorized instantly and/or indefinitely. You are there to be filtered or included. And when you come back online, for a little more browsing, the ghost of who you were the last time you were online haunts you through the advertisements, search results, recommendations, offers, and other "coincidences" of modern life.
Another way of describing the changing "trends" in consumer behavior is as visible markers of the changes in the consumer's relationship to media overall, and that behavior trend is a marker of the consumer's position -- and direction of change -- in the field.
It is termed a "position" because it is defined in terms of its relationship to other pieces of data (relationships with other people, products, places, etc., the secondary network of relationships generated by other people that intersect). It is a topographical view of a consumer in a landscape of relationship coordinates, instead of geographic coordinates.