conTENT not CONtent by Matt Chambers
I have a confession to make.
Never heard of it? That’s because it’s probably not officially a “real thing.” (Not yet anyways)
But I promise I have it. It’s self-inflicted, easily enabled, and I’ve been struggling with it for years.
Basically, it’s a mental filter that stops enjoying moments of reality for what they are and processes them according to what kind of tweet I could create as a result, or how amazing it would look on Instagram.
To make matters worse, now there are websites like Klout screaming at me constantly.
“That’s a pretty good tweet,” they say, “But if you worked a little harder, you could be awesome across the board in no time! Give us more!”
So I do.
I haven’t quite begun dreaming in 140 characters, but sometimes I think I’m close.
There are moments when I’ve actually ignored the calls of “Daddy! C’mere, I wanna show you something!” so I can finish posting content. I feel guilty and dirty afterwards, but at the same time I can’t wait to see how many retweets or comments I get.
Perhaps you’ve experienced this too.
There’s huge pressure in our time to forego actual memories in exchange for virtual ones. Everything we do has some sort of online social element attached to it, especially if that’s also a part of our jobs. But I believe there’s still incredible value to experiencing and enjoying the moments of our lives without a technological component attached. And it has to be purposeful.
To see our children grow up with our own eyes instead of through a lens. On the other hand, I don’t want people’s memories of me (especially my family) to always include a screen of some sort.
We must not allow the pursuit of posting profundity to overtake the importance of savoring life as it is.
We must be careful not to keep records of absolutely every experience to be blogged about at a later date.
We must learn to be conTENT rather than fostering our addiction to CONtent.
This calls for a commitment to balance, to the people around us, and to ourselves. I believe our work will be better because of it.
It’s a huge challenge, and I accept. How about you?
(Matt Chambers is father to 6 (including 1 with special needs), director of SafeWorld, founder of a new yet-to-be-announced project, advocate, speaker, writer, leader, learner. You can follow him on Twitter @chambers_matt or contact him directly email@example.com. He writes daily at http://ethoshift.com.)