Or you could be reading this article... or liking posts on Facebook... or interacting with people on Twitter or Google+... or watching the latest video on YouTube that-you-absolutely-MUST-see-because-it's-so-amazing... or watching that series everyone is talking about on Netflix or commercial TV...
In every moment, you have a choice:
Every minute you spend consuming content is a minute you are not creating content.
Do you read this article? Or do you create a new article that feeds your sites and social networks?
Do you spend time interacting with content other people create on social networks? Or do you create new content that you share out onto social networks?
Obviously, the key is... balance.
We all like - and need - to consume content. We learn by reading, hearing and viewing the articles, podcasts and videos that are out there. We are inspired and amused and delighted and saddened and angered... and every other emotion. We deepen our friendships (and meet new people) by interacting with content created by others.
In fact, sometimes we may need to consume content, in order to create new content of our own. We may need to read articles to research a topic we want to write about - or we may want to read other points of view to bring depth to our own article. Or our own new content may be a "curation" of other content with perhaps added commentary for context - and so we need to be a consumer of content in order to create the new content.
Consuming content may in fact be an important part of the creative process.
BUT... if consuming is all we do... then we are not adding to our own online presence. We are not building our own online reputation through the material we create. We are not providing our own content that others can share. We are not out there telling our own stories and sharing our own information. We are not helping people learn and grow from our experience and knowledge.
Are you just a consumer? Or are you a creator?
In every moment, you have a choice... choose wisely.
P.S. A month or so ago, I recorded an audio commentary on a similar topic that you may also enjoy:
UPDATE: After a comment by Alan Percy on Facebook related to this post, I added the paragraph "In fact, sometimes..." and the following one-line paragraph to clarify that consumption may very well be part of the creative process... but again, it is finding the balance.
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