Today, someone in my Twitter stream posted something with the hashtag #ConsumerNotCreator (https://twitter.com/ibrahimbashir/status/286544811232731136). That tag bounced around in the back of my brain since I read it this morning. Now, when I sit down to write this evening, initially with the purpose of expanding on the #iHateResolutions hashtag that I used in a tweet earlier today, I find myself instead reflecting on Consuming vs. Creating content.
That hashtag just rubbed me the wrong way. I immediately bristled when I read it. I disagreed. I wanted to shout, “No! That’s not right! Create!” But who am I to judge what’s right for other people. I just know what’s right for me.
If you read the “about” page on this blog, or if you’ve known me for a while, you’ll know that I have started, maintained, and ultimately killed an embarrassing number of blogs. I could play armchair psychiatrist and analyze why, but let’s just leave it as-is and move along. Somehow, I always seem to return to blogging. Here I am, again. Blogging. Despite the fact that there is an unusually high likelihood that I will kill this blog as well and wipe away all traces of its existence. (I’m going to try very hard to resist that urge…).
I’d rather not focus on why I kill the blogs as much as why I keep writing them. I recently realized that, among other reasons, I keep writing because, as much as I love consuming content, I believe creating content is essential to critical thinking. I don’t want to go through life spewing other people’s thoughts and ideas. I want to use the grey matter between my ears to process everything I take in and to create my own thoughts and ideas.
I could just leave it at that. Consume. Process. Ideate. Repeat. That would work. The only problem is that I think best through writing. So I write. Sometimes I keep it to myself. Sometimes I blog so I can share it with others. In the process of writing, I’m reordering my thoughts and ideas, framing them into something more than that visceral initial reaction.
Perhaps this hashtag stuck with me for the simple reason that my intention (note: not resolution) this year is to be as much a content creator as a content consumer. Creating and maintaining this blog is one step in the direction of balancing that equation.