Create More, Consume Less


I’ve been reading a lot lately about ‘creation versus consumption’, and some of it has struck a real chord with me, and really made me think about the amount of time I spend ‘consuming’ in relation to that I spend ‘creating’.

I guess another way of labeling it would be activity versus passivity.

Now, I wouldn’t label myself a particularly ‘creative’ person, but when I actually thought about how I spend my time, I realized that I do a lot more ‘creating’ than I give myself credit for – I write my blog posts, I make You Tube videos, I take loads of photos, I crochet, I enjoy cooking new recipes and at the moment I’m organizing – and hence ‘creating’ – a big housewarming party.

I also consume (more than?) my fair share – I watch a lot of not-very-highbrow TV, read a lot of books, spend hours on the internet reading blogs and watching You Tube. But I do try and make my internet use as ‘active’ as possible – I comment on blogs and You Tube, I take part in forums and discussion boards, and generally feel as though I’m part of what’s going on.

As an aside, I think it’s quite odd when (as happened to me recently) I bumped into somebody who I used to work with years back and who I’m friends with on Facebook (they sent me a request about a year ago). I always assumed they didn’t use FB, as they never post, comment or ‘like’ anything, but when we met I realized very quickly that they were very obviously on FB all the time, as they had an encyclopaedic knowledge of my activities over the last year. Not a problem, obviously, as I put stuff on FB that I don’t mind people seeing, but just a bit … weird … that somebody would be lurking like this without taking part. Kind of a bit stalkerish, I think.

I also think the creation/consumption thing is particularly relevant to kids growing up in today’s world, and I had a chat to Will about it while we were away on holiday. He wasn’t totally on board with it – hey, what 14 year old thinks anything their parent has to say is at all relevant or useful!? – but I think it gave him food for thought.

Anyway, I have no idea whether I’ve made any sense at all with this, I just wanted to put a few thoughts down and see how it turned out.

This article is interesting, and one that I have come back to again and again during my quest to find out more about the creation/consumption principle, and I think it’s spot-on – well worth a read if you’re interested.

As a result of all of this, I’ve decided to make it a daily rule to create BEFORE I consume. I’m a morning person anyway, so I think it will work well for me.  And I always feel less guilty spending an hour reading blogs if I’ve written something for my own first!



16 thoughts on “Create More, Consume Less

  1. Hate to say it, but I am guilty of Facebook lurking. I don’t know why exactly. I think it’s because I only get on once or twice a week usually, so the things that I think about commenting on quite often seem outdated by the time I get around to seeing them. And maybe also because each like or comment generates an email (depending on the settings I suppose) which kind of seems like a nuisance for something rather past its prime.

    Now I’m off to read the consume vs create article. Sounds very interesting. I was raised in a home where we were encouraged (strongly) to have something to show for our time. Luckily I thrived on the creativity. Oddly, my love of reading wasn’t really considered an asset. While most parents were nagging my friends to read, my mother was saying, ‘get your nose out of that book, and do something to show for your time.’ I strive for balance to this day. 🙂

  2. I suppose FB silence, or blog silence goes hand-in-hand with over consumption; there are so many FB pages, blogs, sites to read and not enough time to comment on each one. I also struggle with comments that are meaningful, more than just the “That cake/blanket/knitted do dah looks lovely” which keeps me quiet more often than not. And often I read a blog and feel guilty that someone else is creating while I am ‘passing time’ unproductively.
    I like posts like this one that make me think; now I’m off to create more than I consume! For today at least.

  3. I am definitely not a stalker I comment or like many status/ blogs/forums. I like to create things but I do waste so much time “browsing” on various sites and spend many an hour on pintetest which is my current addiction. I am ashamed to admit that I have put off jobs around the house claiming I don’t have time to do them but had time to browse pintetest for craft ideas,recipes and other pins. I actually read myself time on the laptop now when certain jobs are done, that is so bad I know.

  4. creating anything from a blog post to those really intricate crochet snowflakes you have been doing, gives to others.

    I read years ago that a comment on a post is like a payment for the effort, time and thought put into the post and its content by the blog owner. If I enjoy a blog and the posts made, I leave comments. I might not comment every time as I seem to have a billion book marked blogs… but the ones I visit every day I leave a comment most days. A wordy thumbs up if you like.

    • Quite agree – who has time to comment on everything – particularly blogs that have word verification – grrr! I do like blogs that have a ‘like’ button on each post, so that if you don’t have time to comment, you can still give a virtual thumbs up by clicking the button.

  5. Hands up, I used to be a Facebook lurker too, my life is so busy that I didn’t feel I wanted to give myself something else to think about….but this year I made a decision to participate and it’s been the best thing, I post pictures almost daily of things I’ve made/done/seen and I’m having a bit of a laugh. My Mum believes Facebook means you lose contact with people in real life but I’ve found the opposite to be true; I’m getting to know people better by keeping in touch more often, then when we do meet up we have lots to talk about. But I now have several Facebook friends myself who also lurk, yet when I see them they tell me they’ve been reading all my posts. I agree it is a bit weird that they never comment!

    • I think it’s a double-edged sword for me. I love the social interaction aspect of Facebook, but I also find it a terrible time-waster. More positive than negative though, overall.

  6. Interesting article Caroline. I go in waves with FB and am currently in one of my ‘can’t be bothered troughs’ on my personal account. I tend to feel like this every summer holiday – perhaps something to do with being busy with children in the day and too tired to bother after they’ve gone to bed?! However, I am (because I have to be) usually more active on our business pages and I have to agree, contributing does make you feel better.

    On another note, a while back I did a Facebook cull of anyone who hadn’t posted for a few months; it upset a couple and some, I’m guessing, have never noticed but I’d rather that than lurkers!

    • I agree about culling regularly – FB, Twitter and Instagram – it helps keep everything fresh. I just deleted the FB app off my phone again yesterday – decided to have a month or so’s break from it once again. It’s so easy for social networking to become all-consuming!

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