Creating vs. Consuming

One benefit that computers and the internet have brought to us is that they have made it easier than ever before to be creators.

Over the past few years, I've watched my sons create videos for their YouTube channels. I've seen my daughters capture and edit pictures and video on their phones which they post to Instagram and Snapchat. One summer my son managed his own Minecraft server and he and his friends created entire new worlds to explore. I loved to jump on his server and see what city he'd created or burned to the ground that week.

One of the best things about my job at Puget Systems is that I get to speak with many people about how they use their computers. The range of occupations our customers hold is staggering. This past year, I spoke with doctors, scientists, engineers, teachers, artists, photographers, videographers, musicians and even a forest ranger.

One trait all these people have in common is that they are creators. One teacher I spoke with hadn't considered herself as such until she explained how she used her new workstation to create videos of chemical experiments. Her more advanced students could then watch her videos and attempt the experiments during their lab time. I've also enjoyed speaking to artists and musicians who are using computers to take their crafts in entirely new directions using new tools that mix creativeness with the power of neural networks.  

I used to create more than do today. When blogs took off in the early 2000s, installed WordPress and spent the next decade creating over 2000 posts on my personal blog. It didn't matter that most readers of my blog were somehow related to me because I was exercising my mind and my writing skills a few times each week in ways I hadn't done before. It felt good!

I don't know when things changed for me, but Facebook and Twitter had a big impact on how much content I created. I began to spend more time reading tweets and commenting on the content of others. There is nothing wrong with either of these activities, but I struggled to find a balance of consuming and creating. I also didn't control either platform so I was subject to the seemingly arbitrary rules that governed them.

Hearing about all the amazing projects our customers are creating has made me want to bring more of the same to my life in 2019. I recently took the step of deactivating most of my social media accounts. What I hope that means is that I can redirect my focus to creating content for both the Puget Systems blog and my own. 

What have you created lately?