I have been grappling with an idea for a while. I felt that I spent too much time consuming content and not creating enough. I kept asking myself the question over and over again: What is the ideal balance between content consumption and creation?
I used Facebook in the title because it resembles the culture of consumption. We share content, feelings, photos, status updates and so on, but we hardly create something of value. Quality of content on Facebook is weak and uninspiring, and it symbolizes what I have been grappling with lately. So, in order to try and escape the consumption loop, I tried something very, very common. I deactivated my Facebook account.
Now, you probably have seen this a million times before and just thought to yourself “oh not another one of these!” But I actually have a legitimate reason to deactivate my Facebook at this particular time. My birthday is coming up shortly, and I hate the plethora of Facebook posts from a hundred people that I hardly care about and know at all. So I decided to take this opportunity to deactivate my account and try to learn something.
Every time I find myself unconsciously attempting to go to Facebook, I stop and think “I can’t go to Facebook, so what else am I going to do? Maybe read?” I end up reading a lot of articles online. Good, longform content too. But you can only read so much, and eventually have to stop and do something different. Here’s when the consumption stops and the creation begins. I start thinking about writing, coding, graphing, blogging, anything to do because there’s that itch to move my hands across the trackpad and the keyboard. My current project at the moment is to use browsing history from Firefox on my computer to visually represent my computer use habits. (The data, by the way, includes Facebook, since the browsing history was stored prior to my deactivation of my account.)
But this urge to create something comes at a price as well. How much of my time do I spend creating as opposed to consuming? Do I go for the good old 80/20 rule? 80% creation and 20% consumption? Or a more conservative 60/40? Or an even split, a 50/50?
I haven’t even factored in things like my school work. My mind keeps going backa and forth between using the creation time to create something relevant to my studies, or create something completely unrelated, projects that don’t cross paths with what I study.
I figure this will be a continuing exercise in finding the right balance, and creating something worthwhile. It definitely seems worth the effort to create something. There is far more learning to do from conceptualizing an idea, struggling with a problem to solve, and finally finding solutions, and the gratification that comes with it.
There will be more of this,