Beware! Poisonous attention is addictive

We all love getting a bit of attention, some people love a lot of attention. But sometimes, people give poisonous attention.
Poisonous attention is when someone pays attention to you, but always seems to end up asking/digging into your discontentment. They say things like,
“How’s that issue going? Haven’t they sorted it out yet? You must be feeling so frustrated with them, yeah?”
“I just get so upset when I think about what you must be going through. You’ve had to deal with so much. You can tell me how you really feel.”
“Whatever’s wrong (with your circumstance), you can tell me… I’ll understand”
They are people who seek out discontentment, but not in order to help people take it to God and trust him with joy. Instead, it leads people to ever more discontentment.
And here’s why it’s so dangerous… It’s addictive.
Once you’ve been given that type of attention time and time again, you get used to it. You feel like that’s what “good conversations” are meant to feel like. You dislike them idea of being told you’re wrong, or called to repent.
Just say, “You know, I think talking about it might make it worse. Let’s talk about something else.”

Assuming the centre of attention – why you find some people so annoying

Yes… Some people just seem to be more annoying than others, and the reason is usually attention. You (me too) become annoying when – in a conversation – you assume the centre of attention.
Say someone’s talking about school, and you jump from what they were saying to talking about your school and how you did really well in your classes/sport/whatever.
It has nothing to do with what had been said. It has nothing to do with the other people listening.
What’s happened is that you’ve grabbed other people’s attention, without their permission, and you’ve assume the centre of their attention. You’ve demanded they give their attention to you and your topics of conversation.
You’ve taken the talky-stick and people are wishing they didn’t have to listen to you.

A theology of Attention

In the new age of digital media, where a movie can be copied/transmitted/watched for next to no cost, we begin to see what was always the underlying commodity: Attention. Peoples’ attention.
Apparently I have your attention now, though I might lose it by the end of this sentence… No? Soon then.
Although, what is attention?
It’s more than what your eyes land upon, because it has to do with what your mind does with that image or sound or experience. Attention is a state of mind.
We see this in the words we use to describe attention: we pay attention, give it, we command it, we grab people’s attention and hold it, and we loose it. We often speak of kids wanting it or trying to get it.
Is there a theological grid behind how we think about attention. Are you being Christian with the attention your giving things?