If Snoopy can do it, so can you! (source of image)
Our greatest enemy isn’t sugar, fat or empty calories. Rather, it is the overflowing rivers of content streaming from our handheld devices, laptops and television screens.
Swirling on our smartphones like endless puffs of cotton candy, those pleasurable bits of videos, photos, text, and comics can gobble up hours of our time. Along the way, our attention spans are also torn to shreds.
Who can resist 9GAG’s hilarious parody of a beleaguered politician, that YouTube video featuring the cutest cat in the world, breathtaking photos of the world’s greatest “whatever”, or breaking news that a smarter, thinner and wider phone will debut next year?
By the time we’re done scrolling through our feeds, our eyes are shot, our energy drained, and our brains become mush.
Sure, we need to plug into what’s new, what’s hot and what’s trending.
Sure, we need to keep up with what our friends and family members are talking about.
Sure, we need to unwind, relax and chill over some gossip, scandal, and humour.
However, do we need to do it every hour on the hour? And then some?
We need to pause periodically from consuming the addictive digital drugs served 24/7 on our screens. Go for a walk. Clear your mind. Think. Reflect. Ponder.
When the sticky digital webs of social content are removed from your consciousness, whip out your notebook – paper or digital – and start writing or drawing.
Sketch out your ideas and insights. Frame your thoughts and theories. Start with a blog.
Have an eye for photography? Take out your camera (there is one in every smartphone) and shoot. Choose a suitable theme and compose pictures that paint a thousand words. Share your creations on Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest.
Love to talk and enjoy the sound of your own voice? Invest in a portable recorder with a microphone. Start rolling out your own podcast. Transform your laptop into a recording suite, and produce your own Internet radio show.
Nurse a hidden desire to produce your own TV show? Bring out your video camera, mount it somewhere and create your own vodcast or vlog (video blog). You can sing, dance, recite poetry, teach, or be a YouTube comedian.
“Hang on a minute wise guy! I am not very good at writing, my photos suck, and my videos look like a 6 year old’s. Wouldn’t my friends laugh at me?”
Well, don’t worry. Truly, nobody is going to care that much unless they are already know you.
If what you create is great, it will spread. If what you create isn’t that great, it will just sit there. Given the endless avalanche of content, it will soon be long buried and forgotten. Unless of course you are atrociously bad, which honestly isn’t that easy.
The thing is this. By focusing on religiously writing, shooting and publishing content, we engage our hearts, minds and wills on creating works of art. Over time, we get better and better at this.
If we deliver high educational or entertainment value, our friends, followers and subscribers will grow. Eventually, we will become known an influencer in our little micro-niche – whatever that may be.
The next time you feel like lounging on your sofa scrolling through Buzzfeed, ask yourself if you can produce that “viral” content instead. Roll up your sleeves, put on your author or director’s cap, and create.
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