The BBC's Chris Bowlby discusses a report that found that 'spending on information technology is more important to Britons than anything except food'. More important even than holidays abroad.
Much has been made of Web 2.0 giving us an ability to create and share as well as passively consume. But it's well documented how few people actually create and contribute instead of just consuming.
So the idea that the British will protect spending in two major areas of consumption makes sense to me. And I can see parallels between our consumption of food and consumption of online content. While all the ingredients are there in the average supermarket for anyone to create a gourmet organic feast for fifteen, how many times do we enter the supermarket with fine intentions, only to exit laden with ready meals, packets of crisps and tubs of ice-cream?
And with every resource and means at our fingertips to create fabulous online content or participate in world-changing campaigns, all too often a foray online simply results in a catch-up of gossipy or news sites, a browse through bargain goods, with perhaps a quick burst of twitter and facebook as the equivalent to a high-fat, high-sugar fix.
I find it way easier to consume than create. It can take me hours to make something 'good' in the kitchen. I can demolish it in minutes. It can take weeks, months or years to build something 'good' online. And locust-like audience driven by twitter or the like can consume it in days, then move on.
I read recently that the average person in the Western World today is overfed and undernourished. That resonated on two levels. Both for belly food and for brain food. I consume vast amounts of information these days. But somehow it just feels a bit weak and watery...I'm bloated but hungry. Twitter is great, but I find it's like snacking while you're cooking. Sometimes when I come to the main meal, I've found myself full-up on trash.
I want nutritious online content! Content that feeds my brain. And I want to produce that type of content for other people.
But creating something good takes skill, time and patience. The confidence to try and fail. An open mind to accept the 'you put too much salt in it' feedback. And for me, it takes the willpower to shut off the fat pipeline of easy-to-consume content so I'm left alone with the raw ingredients and a pressure cooker of the mind.