Julia Cameron, an artist, author, poet is best known for her work The Artist’s Way. She explains, “When an artist is fatigued it is often from too much inflow, not too much outflow”. In today’s society, where overconsuming information is the norm and technology provides a constant stream of ceaseless chatter, there’s a strong case to argue that artists aren’t the only ones struggling to manage their ‘flow’.
A huge part of the way we use technology today centres around exchange. Exchanging handles, pictures, stories, opinions and facts. We’re working with a network where everyone’s voice counts and though this isn’t a revelation or a characteristic attributed to only contemporary society, what’s different now is that everyone’s opinion is counted, and exchanged and opined upon some more. The introduction of social media liberated the news and the internet, but it’s overuse and erosion has paralyzed us once again. As recipients of short, quick-fire shots of attention, we have become a society that knows ‘a little about a lot and a lot about nothing.’ There is no doubt that technology has expanded our universe but all the while, also eroding it.
Excessive consumption and inflow have inhibited our creativity, but not only that, our activity has suffered too, our ability to produce valuable and beneficial work in both its formative term and otherwise. Our energy and attention is constantly shifting, with an inability to invest in a project or get something done, then suddenly the moment has passed and we’ve been nothing more than a bystander. Tomorrow has become yesterday and nothing has changed in the process.
As a society, we are presented with an opportunity to become the most informed, most compassionate populace of all times – with the ability to help those around the World, who speak different languages to us or are suffering from a problem that is entirely foreign to us. If only we knew where to start.
Overconsumption has left us intoxicated by a lethal cocktail of depleting energy levels and a plethora of choices beyond our contemplation. It’s harder to focus or think clearly, devise an action plan or collate your ideas. It’s almost as if someone doesn’t want us to – and so its more important than ever that we do. It’s knowing what, and who, to connect with that will pull us through the other side. Knowing how to invest your time and when to disengage, a valuable skill in an era that is struggling to disconnect.