Friday, January 11, 2013

It's Not What We Create But What We Share?

Something I've been thinking about.

This: At a publishing conference I attended in November, a panelist said that people used to create funny content and this is what made them 'funny'.  A recent shift has shown a new psychology. People now share funny content that someone else created and this is what makes them 'funny'.  For some Madlibs fun replace the adjective with 'smart' 'thoughtful', etc.

I've got to tell you all.  This just about. Blew. My. Mind. 

I've noticed the shift. In others. In myself. I see in my facebook and twitter feeds less and less original content, a greater impulse to 'share' or 'retweet'.  I see people commenting less and 'liking' or 'favorite-ing' more.  I wonder what this means.  Is there just so much content and information out there that we see no room for more? Are we less secure in our words, our thoughts, our ideas?  Simply pressed for time? Is who we are no longer tied to what we create but what we share?

I've become hyperaware. I've thought, perhaps, I should scroll through fewer photos, take more of my own. Make a video instead of consume one.  I'm worried, I think, is what I'm saying.  Are you?


  1. That's an interesting thought...I think I'll tweet it. ;)
    Seriously, it does give you a lot to think about. I imagine part of the reason is that for a while the internet became this marvelous outlet for expressing creativity--there was really nothing like it before, where artists, photographers, writers, chefs, etc. could express themselves at no cost and with a huge audience. I wonder if that novelty has worn off a little...but maybe it will leave us with the artists that have a real inner drive to create and show the world...

  2. I don't know if things have really changed all that much. When I was growing up, people would "tell jokes" at gatherings. They didn't make up the jokes -- they were just retelling jokes they'd heard .....

  3. This is an interesting thought. I do think the internet provides so many opportunities to consume - art and music and words and images - and it's all so new to us that we don't quite know what to do with it. We're like kids let loose in the toy shop. We want to try it all out and tell all our friends about everything we discover.

    I also think we need to work at regaining a better balance between creating and consuming (with more weight on the creation side!)

  4. Are we trying to recreate a desired identity in sharing instead of creating? This conversation brings me back to comparing Facebook pages with how we decorated our college dorm walls with magazine photos and it self-expression? Or finding affinity with what others create?

  5. Hi Melissa
    I haven't commented on your blog for more than a year although I have read many of your posts. After an absence from Blogland I've returned, partly because I missed the activity, or rather I should say interactivity (I read posts using Google Reader). But what changes I've noted! Fewer comments, people do not follow so readily and some bloggers who used to be prolific in their posting now blog irregularly. I've also noticed more 'liking' and sharing on Facebook, rather than original posting.

    I wonder if, now that FB, Twitter and Blogs are no longer shiny new, that we have become disenchanted and await the next big thing. It's difficult to retreat from the social media once you have been part of it and that's another reason for my return - I feel as if I'm been missing something. The activities take so much time and maybe writers have realised that and are using the freed up time for 'real' writing. Perhaps what we are witnessing represents a compromise. No one wants to leave the party so we keep hanging in there, but we spend less time on it. Shared and recycled content merely saves us time.

    Anyway, Melissa, I've babbled on long enough here. Best wishes to you and for your writing.