Do you create or consume?

Kendall Polidori

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In a generation where social media, the internet and technology are a major source of creation and consumption, we’re left to question ourselves which act we take part in more. I recently attended an event where a speaker spoke on the effects of social media today and the many benefits it has brought us.

It is easy to see the new age of media as addictive and as a problem, as it can be distracting or alter certain facts that are put out there. While there are always issues surrounding this topic, many people forget the crucial impact it has had on our society.

Social media has built a platform for absolutely anyone to create something and put it out there for everyone to see. People have been able to create films with a device that can fit in their pocket. Yes, it is not as highly edited or captured with expensive equipment, but it is possible. And with today’s evolving of technology, it is also very viewable and enjoyable. Some who do not have access to high quality equipment can still use their artistic ability to capture something and deliver to millions of people within seconds.

Now, the question is whether most people are using this kind of technology to the best of their ability or if they are overly consuming with them. First we must distinguish the difference between the two. Creating is simply using this technology to make something original and put it out there for others to see. This can be with photography, blogs, videos, etc. But, consuming is when you simply just look at everything that is posted, such as scrolling through Facebook or Twitter for an hour. Consumers are those who retain the work.

Consuming is extremely important as well as creating, don’t get me wrong. How else would we know current events or news without reading or viewing? But, there are always limits of course, and there are always questions as to what we are consuming and if it is the best thing for us. Just think about it: is it better to look at President Trump’s tweets for an hour or to watch NBC News’ two-minute story coverage on Trump. Now, think about what you actually choose to do. Of course there are always different opinions but I believe it is important to be conscious of what you are choosing to consume with your time.

Technology, such as cell phones, has given us the opportunity to communicate and express ideas with others in seconds, which is extremely powerful. I believe people only see cell phones as a problem in our generation because most are so captivated with consuming that they forget they have the power to create as well. The speaker event I attended made it clear that we should not treat this technology as a nuclear part of our society, but that we should use it for our greater good.

This can be writing a daily blog or filming a short documentary on an issue that is important to you. You can easily be that person that you view each day on Instagram, just by taking that step to no longer hide behind the screen, but to be in front of it instead.