Consumption/creativity

This article about why excessive consumption limits your creativity is spot on accurate in its observations. We do consume far more than we create. Most people create and add very little value to the digital ecosystem, myself included. As social media (aka web 2.0) has caught on and ramped up, it has become harder and harder to pull oneself from the allure of all that information. But we have to do it if we hope to be more than simple consumers. This is my hope for myself and for my students–that we all become something more than consumers–that we can become makers and creators.

The excessive consumption article gives a number of reasons why we should be conscious of our consumption/creation ratio and I won’t go into all of that again here. It also gives three suggestions for reducing our inflow of information, which I will briefly mention.

  • Use more than one e-mail address

I’ve been doing this one for years. Anyone who wants an e-mail address when I buy something when I sign up for something when I download something gets my junk e-mail address I’ve had for over 20 years. I rarely ever look at what is sent to that address and it cuts down on the clutter in my real address.

  • Use an extension that removes the Facebook newsfeed

I couldn’t find the recommended extension for my browser and I couldn’t quickly find an alternative. But I have been reducing my time on casual social media use in recent weeks and have been known to take several weeks long breaks from all social media use as well. Making time to do other things is vitally important, and for myself, doing a 30-day challenge project was a great way to divert my attention away from the frivolous and on to something more meaningful.

  • Go analog

This is another favorite thing of mine to do. I always try to keep a paper notebook and pen handy. The author of the article I’ve shared says they usually write all posts out by hand before posting them on the web. I don’t go that far, but many of my post ideas come from ideas jotted down in a paper notebook. Also, I enjoy going back through notes from time to time. Many times I will see great ideas that I’ve never acted on, and in some cases, I’ve successfully resurrected some old ideas, particularly ideas that have to do with my teaching.

So take a look at your inflow/outflow consumption/creation ratio. You might be able to make a simple adjustment here that improves your life.

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