We all do it. We consume. And it can be good. It can be good to scroll through your friends' Instagram photos, learn how to cook on Youtube, relax with Netflix, read your Twitter feed, watch the news. It is entertaining. A way to learn. To be caught up with the world.
But it is easy to fall into passive consumption. I know I do. We can waste hours watching mind-numbing videos and going down rabbit holes of countless posts. In Canada, adults between the ages of 18 and 34 spend on average 7 hours a day consuming media1. Consuming passively eats away at our time, impacts our sleep and wellbeing, and plays with our sense of reality2.
This is why we need to create more.
With limited time on my hands, I find that creating more naturally makes me consume less. Here are three more benefits:
We are vulnerable.
By creating, we are forced to share a part of ourselves to the world. We are vulnerable. It can feel daunting, like running naked in public. So why would anyone do it?
Well, embracing vulnerability is rewarding3. It makes us braver, more resilient. It shows us opportunities that we would have never seen otherwise. It helps us forge more connections. And failure is okay. Being out there, giving it our all, is already better than doing nothing.
We spend time on ourselves.
Spending time on creating is investing time in ourselves. We are improving our skills and assets. In a world full of ❤️ and 👍, you can finally send yourself some appreciation.
We engage better.
Lastly, by putting ourselves in the same mindsets as the creators whose content we consume, we will be able to engage better with their content. Active engagement, opposed to passive consumption, makes social media an asset. We learn more4, have a better sense of community, and add value to media platforms.
Media studies have shown that in most online communities, there is a 90-9-1 rule for participation5. 1% are heavy contributers, 9% contribute sporadically, and 90% are lurkers. Since 90% of online communities only read or observe, there is a vast audience ready to listen to you engage. This rule also signifies that online ideas and voices can be heavily skewed since only 1% is represented. By creating more, we engage better online and help form more diverse communities.
James Clear writes:
Our lives were meant to be spent making our contribution to the world, not merely consuming the world that others create6.
So take some time and create. I will too.