Creator > Consumer

4 min read

Everyone has heard the stats and everyone knows the news. Articles continually poke fun at the fact that the average person spends staggering amounts of time consuming media. But rarely do we look at the implications that time has on the way we live our life.

CNN writes the average teenager consumes 9 hours of media everyday

TNS Global did a study that concluded millennials spend one day of every week solely on their phone (3.4 hrs/day)

Digital Trends, in 2015, conducted a research study and found the average American with access to wi-fi spent 4.7 hours on their phone — typically 1/3 of their time awake in the day

The numbers vary, but the bottom line remains the same: It’s a LOT of time.

But what I believe we should be more interested in exploring, is not the exact time we spend online, moreover, the motive, context and reason behind WHAT we use our devices FOR. What the articles usually don’t clarify, is the fact that the way we communicate, learn, and work is rapidly evolving everyday.

Everything has an online presence. Running a business, typing a research paper, the way we travel or hear the news can all be conveniently accessed through devices we have in our pocket or on our work desk. This not only saves time, convenience and costs, but drastically increases the rate at which we are able to learn, connect and create on a global scale.

The amount of time we spend online only becomes scary when you look deeper into how much of it is invested into creating versus consuming.

When we find ourselves in the habit of continually consuming, reading, and liking everything we set our eyes on without ever taking action on any of it, that’s when it becomes dangerously passive.There is no harm at all in reading a book for pleasure, scanning through news or keeping updated with your friends across the globe. But it is when we spend up to 5 hours everyday, habitually, scanning and swiping through information that has next to no impact on the way we live our lives that it should become a concern.

To a certain extent, scanning and staying updated on social media feeds can be awesome, but with the wrong motives and used in the wrong way, can slowly become detrimental.

Our world has never had so much potential at our fingertips to create. And the misconception many people have, is that it has to be a business, a blog, or a billionaire idea. Creating can be anything. Whether that be applying what you learned on a finance podcast to budget for school, learning how to cook a steak dinner or even sending an email to a non-profit organization because you read an article about them that morning. The ideas are limitless.

The Fast Company wrote, “on social media, the majority of “the social” are merely consuming content — 68% of all socialites according to Forrester simply listen, never saying or producing anything.”

Nevertheless, the underlying belief that younger generations have been brought up in is the idea that constantly consuming is OK to do. It’s comfortable, safe and easy to do. However, the opportunities, adventure and growth lurking behind each persons’ potential of creating is better than anything imaginable.

Every time we have our fingertips at a keyboard or pen on a piece of paper, we choose between one or the other — creating or consuming. Both should be invested in. On one end of the spectrum, consuming is where we learn, sort our thoughts, research, develop strategies (etc.). Conversely on the other end, we are able to create action, gain feedback, inspire others and more.

Identifying a balance between the two is something everyone must do.

Homework for the day:

1. Analyze how much time you spend on social media or check your phone for a week. Similar to a budget, watch closely at which apps and mediums are consuming your time. Are they adding value or simply draining time?Very few people usually try this, but the results can be astonishing.

2. Create an ongoing list of ideas of ways you can take action and apply what you are learning. Two apps — Evernote and Trello can be very helpful, or even a notepad. By providing a platform to brainstorm, write and develop ideas, you force yourself to get your thoughts out on paper and closer to action.

3. Don’t over stress about creating a blog, podcast, or million dollar business. Simply have an open perspective on the value behind creating and the rest will follow suit.

The process of learning how to convert information into something of value is the habit that deserves more attention. But if a million dollar business results, that’s a bonus.

Thanks for taking the time to read the article! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share below or message me directly. Cheers!

Joel is a BBA student from Vancouver pursuing a specialization in Management. He works on the Student Government as the Director of Operations, has worked as a Fundraiser Director for Lighthouse Voyage and is also coordinating a Millennial Career Development Event called the Connect Conference. He hopes to pursue a position in the marketing or private equity field this summer by integrating his passion for storytelling and strategy to refine the ways brands connect. To connect further, feel free to connect with me over Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook.