Consumers

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In Clive Thompson's Public Thinking chapter in his book, "Smarter Than You Think">, he makes a point that really stood out to me. He says "Literacy in North America has historically been focused on reading, not writing; consumption, not production." This is something that I have never stopped to think about. One of the biggest parts of American culture is the consumer mentality that so many people have.

We take in every capacity possible, and only give when necessary. David Quinn, wrote a novel on this idea, and discussed how many modern humans are part of what Quinn calls a "taker culture." He suggests that we need to take more of a "leavers" approach and leave the Earth as we found it, if not better. This has proven to be true even about writing. As Thompson put it, we consume a great deal of written information but we do not so often produce it.

Or at least we didn't.

I will admit to anyone that I am not a fan of the digital era in which we live. Where everything has an app and calling a store or a company now means calling some robotic recording that doesn't understand what you are saying. The most human interaction some people get each day is talking to their barista at Starbucks to order their grande latte for now and their flat white for later.

The digital age has allowed for easier production of original thought and its dissemination. Thompson talks about how his mother had not written a paragraph in at least ten years and he also mentioned she is not a part of the digital age. Blogging has exploded, along with fanfiction and other mediums Thompson mentioned. One thing that I do love about the digital age is the idea of blogs. I love that I have the opportunity to write my opinions, just as I am now, and they can be accessed by anybody with the internet. When I see a terrible movie, like Lucy, for example then I can go home and fire up my little MacBook and immediately write a blog on how I felt about it. Writing can be such an amazing outlet and can clear your thoughts quickly. Writing is the easiest way to begin to rectify our consumerist culture. Keep your clothes and shoes and coffee cups. Consume and consume as much as you want, but write; always make sure you write. You are a great producer.