Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This week’s pondering? How am I spending my time? Am I creating or consuming?
I literally just had a mini heart attack.
The bullet point notes I had written for today’s pondering have not saved and now I have had to create a whole new idea, on the fly. Which, luckily has given me an idea…
Have you ever considered your Create to Consume ratio? I am sure it is a thing, and some smartie somewhere will have made a calculator, that I now don’t have time to look it up and research, but it does raise an interesting point. Has Google made us less creative? Instead of figuring things out for ourselves, we turn to the Internet to look for other people who have laid a path, as it were, and use their ideas.
I am very conscious of this, as I always used to be incredibly creative; give me some tissue paper, a toilet roll and some glitter and I was away! I am now more likely to type the ‘ingredients’ in a search engine and see what it suggests. The access to everyone else’s ideas has made me lazy and complacent; I don’t need to create when I can consume.
In fact, I didn’t even create this concept; The Minimalists mention it on their website. That doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t work with it, I just need to add value, so let’s look at how we currently do things, make a list of things we consume and how we can change our ratio.
On an average day I go on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and my blog. I read, I cook, I go to work, and I interact with my family (grunts from them in reply count as interaction).
In each of these areas – with perhaps the exception of my blog, and the gutteral utterances of my teenagers- I am mainly receiving information; liking the work of others, commenting on others creativity, sharing other people’s posts, pictures and pins.
When do I create? How can I counteract the balance?
Now that I am conscious of it, I am making more of an effort, so here are some suggestions to help you find a happy medium.
Instead of just flicking through, or writing inane ‘great pic’ comments on people’s shots, craft a reply that will add value to the post. Remember to create decent images of your own. You do not have to be an amazing photographer, those filters work magic! Try out different styles, experiment and see what seems to be resonating with people.
There is an unofficial rule regarding twitter that you should retweet 3 things from other people for every self-written tweet. I can see why this would be useful; not only does it fill you feed and increase your reach, but it shows you to be a caring and helpful member of the Twitter community. I have often seen feeds, that are littered with nonsense one liners that give the impression that the tweeter is just screaming into a void, with very little interaction. Making useful comments on others posts – and then retweeting them is combining the best of create and consume; you are promoting others while providing additional content.
I am quite new to this medium, but have taken to creating pins using my own pictures, as well as pinning the work of others.
Starting up boards that can link to your work, is also a good example of creating over consumption.
Are you reading the work of others? Or are you writing?
Are you thinking of starting a course?Or could you produce your own?
Are you following a pattern? Or are you making one up for yourself?
No one can be expected to constantly inovate, some ideas are constantly reused because they are one of the best ways of doing things – the wheel is still going strong, for example!
However if you become conscious of the fact that you often turn to others for ideas, be that people, social media or search engines, then consider areas of your life where you can make opportunities to generate new things.
Have a go today, what will you create?