We need time both to consume media and to create something new. However, there are forces pushing us towards an unhealthy balance here: Because many internet services serve to benefit from your distraction, they push us ever further towards consuming. And the more we consume, the less create, so we are pushed further away from creating. We have to defend the act of Creating.
“But I consume media in order to relax!”
When I posted the original version of essay, I would have agreed. Whenever I felt like I didn’t have the energy to Create, I took to watching science videos to relax. But now that I have a habit of writing, I’ve found that I vastly enjoy Creating over Consuming.
Whenever I try to watch more than an hour of youtube, whenever I consume anything that’s not part of deliberate research, I encounter a certain uneasiness.I feel disconnected, and separate. Like I’ve stepped off the court and conceded to the stands.
Because of this, I made myself write for this website daily, and after two months the habit clicked. When this happened, I began to relax by creating. Today when I want to relax, I get excited to write and revise, to Create.
However, because habits are fragile, I occasionally lose this habit and succumb to Consuming, and I have to force myself to write daily until I rebuild the habit. Once I get back on the court, however, I invariably find myself feeling happier, with a greater sense of control.
Drawing © Ariana Dyer.