You and myself both serve as a consumer and a producer every day. As a consumer, we inhale all the information – through mails, newspaper, TV, and from fellow living and non-living entities around us. As a producer, we produce something that this world could consume. It could be a lesson (as a teacher), a device people could play with (as an engineer), a codebase that powers an application, a video on youtube, an image on instagram, a meal for dinner, or a blog post like this one.
Now, it is easy to see from this that the only way you get appreciated, respected, or paid in this world is when you produce something. The problem is, every ‘free’ thing on the internet is trapping you into being and staying just the consumer almost the entire day. In fact, you’re my victim as well, right now as you read this.
Imagine what had happened if Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and all the social media apps, and gaming apps you used were not free. Assume we existed in the world where we paid for every service we consumed, and not by watching advertisements. In such a world, you wouldn’t have bought subscriptions of all the social media apps that currently exist on your phone, just like right now you don’t go ahead and buy every type of shoe that exist in the stores.
A direct consequence of this would have been more time at your hand for yourself to do something. Be it drawing a sketch, singing a song, or dancing, or writing, or perhaps ideating and building the next big business out there that could change the landscape of the entire world. But most of us don’t anymore. This is due to what I call the trap of free-dom.
The trap of free-dom is a simple law about life. Life doesn’t operate on currency of dollars, pounds or rupees. It operates on currency of time. Every minute of yours is spent either as consumer, or a producer. More free services available to you inherently bait the consumer within you to be more active, essentially taking away your producer time.
Millions of Daily/Weekly Blogs have died with the advent of more free internet resources you could consume. Have all those people started hating writing? Of course no. They’re still as creative, and still love to write. They just don’t get much time anymore.
As we get baited into these services, we grow closer to what I’d call the extreme consumers. Imagine a guy who’s just sitting on the couch ordering pizza, smoking pot and binge watching Netflix series. If you’re busting your ass every day in the office producing for someone else in a fairly disciplined order, and then coming home to spend every minute of your personal time just as a consumer, how are you any different?
So, just take out some personal time every day and spend it as a producer. As you do that, the probability of the world being a better place increases, and the probability of you uttering words sounding like ‘I wish I had done….’ reduce exponentially.