YouTube isn’t free. Neither is Facebook. Neither is TV.

Now, more than ever, our attention is for sale. Advertisers have been in our living rooms for decades, but now they’re in our pockets, too. We get entertainment, and advertisers get a moment of our attention. It’s a square deal.

But we’re changed by the messaging we see, whether we realize it or not. It’s best not to think of these tools as free. They’re products we pay to use, and the cost is a tiny bit of our mind. It may be a price worth paying, and I’m actually not trying to argue otherwise. It’s a personal decision.

But as with our time and money, it’s worth taking a careful look at how we spend our attention.