Earlier this year I read “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport. I already had suspicions, but that book really opened my eyes to how much time I
wasted er, spent browsing content on the interwebs. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, newsfeeds, etc. The endless scrolling …
As directed in the book, I did a 30 day digital detox. It was a very interesting experience. I was shocked how much I mindlessly grab for my phone during any slow or down time. Well, here I am about six months later and I find myself doing the same thing. My phone usage has slowly creeped back up and I find myself grabbing for the phone a lot. I’m back to consuming other people’s content.
I was thinking about that while walking the dog the other day: consumers vs. creators. Humans are great at creating things and our brains really flourish when we are drawing, painting, dancing, singing, writing, woodworking, building, or really anything having to do with our mind, body, and spirit. Consuming is fine too, and our brains get a workout to some degree while watching something artistic happening. However, there are laws of diminishing returns in play. The longer you sit on the couch getting sucked down a YouTube video rabbit hole or scrolling through a Twitter or Facebook feed, the less you’re actually engaged. At some point it’s lost any creative or intellectual value for us and become nothing but a dopamine hit while we avoid doing anything stimulating (or hard).
I’m at a point in my life in which I’m starting to see it doesn’t last forever … so I certainly don’t want to waste any second of my time left on this planet. And when my brain starts working against me it’s frustrating because I don’t want to waste my time. So, I have to step back, remind myself that some consumption is OK … but instead, I should choose to create.
So yeah, I’ve just now created this blog post. I’m going to go back and complete the Inktober pictures I missed (or skipped). I’m going to engage my brainpod and add value to this world … no matter how small my contribution might be.