Recently I’ve been experiencing some consumption fatigue, in large part because I see an estimated 3,000 advertisements on a daily basis (some stat research here). Because of this fatigue, I’ve been contemplating some thoughts about what it might look like to consume less, and create more. The following are a few of those thoughts.
Creating offers us the ability to look at tomorrow, while consuming is self-centric today thinking. Creating engages us into the world that we live, seating us next to others that are doing the same. There is a communal aspect of creating that draws us into relationships. Something similar could be said for consumption and community, but it seems that creating will generally lead us to share our engagement with others, yet consuming typically moves us into a more isolated and controlled environment that doesn’t rely on others to be present.
Creating shows the world something of who we are, in our uniqueness and individuality. Consuming is about someone else, their identity, and in some ways our need to become someone else.
So what does a healthy balance of creating and consuming look like? We have to consume in order to survive (food, water, oxygen, etc), but to thrive we have to create. With this in mind, maturity can be defined as creating more and consuming less. Kids spend their whole life consuming, and at the point that they are ready (either by necessity or choice), they enter into a lifestyle that because creating-centric either in becoming parents or in “flying the coop” to experience life on their on.