Welcome to my blog post. 

Go make yourself a cup of tea. 

I know you haven’t made that cup of tea yet. Really. Go do it. I insist. 

Aaah. Glorious. 

Now, welcome again to my blog post. 

Take a sip of your tea. (Perhaps smile as you realise you are being instructed via computer screen.
((Perhaps Lol, if you are actually complying.))
(I was inspired to offer you a cup of tea after a conversation with my friend Sarah, so I hope you are enjoying some tea Sarah)

Aaah. Tea. 

Doesn’t that taste good? Hot delicious tea. Or maybe it’s coffee today. Or a green juice. Or a glass of water. Or a glass of wine.

It doesn’t really matter, but just do it.

Perhaps the weather is just right for tea today. I hope it is.  Or maybe it’s a day favouring a glass of refreshing water?

Do you usually have a sugar in your tea?
Can you taste it today? 

If you haven’t made yourself a cuppa – perhaps you are now realising that you probably should’ve just gone and done it.
Tea. Coffee. Water. It’s not really the point – It would’ve only taken you two minutes. 

But you’ve probably guessed by now that it’s not really about the tea. 

It’s about those two minutes. 

In spite of every SEO tactic screaming for me to include my ‘long tail keyword phrase’ “mindfulness in the modern age” several times in the first paragraph, I hope you can appreciate how I’ve sacrificed that prime SEO real estate to offer you the space to make yourself a cup of tea.
(And shame on you if you didn’t take me up on it.)

If you’re at work or some kind of environment that doesn’t really allow for you to make yourself a cuppa to sit and digest this all, then perhaps you should save this reading for another time. And if you don’t ever find your way back to this post, then perhaps this post is not really for you right now. And that’s ok too 🙂

So if by now, you’ve read through several paragraphs of me waffling about tea and are driving yourself demented with “GET TO THE POINT WOMAN” then you’ve arrived. Because: 

THAT. 

THAT. IS THE POINT. 

Let’s back up a little. 

My (highly probable) guess is that you’ve arrived here via my Facebook or Instagram accounts – or perhaps someone forwarded this link on to you. In which case – “HEY! STRANGER!”

There are a number of blog posts that I feel I should be writing right now. In fact I have the words “Kristi retreat journal cartoon” written down four times in my diary. (Those who came on The Bali Yoga retreat with us will know exactly what I’m talking about, those who weren’t will just have to wait until I get round to finishing it!) – but I think maybe after reading this post you will understand why it is STILL NOT DONE.

To be honest I am not even sure how to start writing this blog post because there are SO many thoughts I have regarding what I want to say and how I want to say it.

Let’s just begin at the beginning: 

I began blogging in a time when blogging was this really fun, cool thing to do. (And DANG I thought I was so cool.) Anywhoo. I created plenty of cartoons and doodled funny anecdotes of my day and it quickly garnered a good audience of people who loved checking in with what was happening in the “indieBerries” land. An event of some sort would happen in my life (usually with some kind of random hilariousness – as I am bound to attract) and then I would take the next day or two to cartoon it out and then share it. The cycle went a little something like this:

The audience that I was growing (and blog readers in general) became accustomed to reading or diving into an event a few days or maybe a week or two (once editing pics/cartoons/writing was done), then they would get a little snippet or sneak peak into my life/day. And I really loved it. like, i REALLY loved it. I LOVED making that type of content and having people read and share and comment on it. It was an incredibly creative and soul-nourishing time for me.

Then social media happened.

Of course, social media has always been around

(ok it wasn’t around ALWAYS – but you know what I mean). Social media has always been present but then it somehow HAPPENED.

Facebook exploded, Twitter exploded. Instagram exploded. Snapchat exploded. (and whatever other social media platform that I’m “too old to get” exploded). And now we are entering a phase where Facebook Live and Instagram Live are exploding.

For me, with every explosion it’s felt like we are reducing the robustness of the content we are capable of consuming and increasing the immediacy with which it must be consumed. I remember the “good ol’ days” of internet yore when I would sit down with my blankie and my hot chocolate and really read and take in the content of my favourite blogs. It was my wonderfully indulgent reading time and my little insight into the lives of people I had never met but felt so strongly connected to. Then with the HAPPENING of social media, and phones with internet and suddenly my blog “reading” went from reading to “scrolling and sometimes reading” to “scrolling and sometimes double tapping” and now with podcasts on the rise – “Great! I can be “reading” and literally doing something else” – FANTASTIC!
And from the content creator side – (for my experience of it at least) the cycle then collapsed into this:

And I have to then ask myself – is it really worth all the TIME, ENERGY and EFFORT to re-create this content again in another format – because “a cartoon of this would be so hilarious” – even though people may already have seen it.

I can tell you very honestly – as I type this, my mind is thinking, “I am going to have to draw a whole lot of cartoons for this post – because there is absolutely no way that people will be still be reading this content if there are no pictures to keep them entertained”.
(And for anyone who has already dropped off this blog post, maybe this topic wasn’t for you – or maybe you’ve just proved my point).

So this creates (for me at least) some epic problems.

  1. People don’t consume content the way they used to.
    If (particularly in the “personal blogger” category) something is not entertaining, easy to read, digest then people are over it, because the next “easier” thing to consume is literally one thumb scroll away.
  2. Sharing content with such immediacy makes it very difficult to keep up with good content creation without getting “stale”.
    Example: I went to India on a yoga teacher training and learnt some amazing lessons which I began sharing in an email news letter. It takes time to create good, non boring (see above) content. In the meantime, while you are trying to create aforementioned non-boring content about the cool things you want to share, you may be having other things which are currently going on which you start sharing on the “immediate” platforms – instagram stories, snapchat, facebook lives etc. So suddenly your audience is seeing the cool thing you did this weekend and the next adventure you are on and suddenly – because social media has become so immediate – the stuff that you wanted to share which happened several months ago – suddenly seems just. SO. old. Both for the content consumer (“geez, wasn’t that years ago – give it up woman”) as WELL as for the content creator (“geez, this feels like years ago – I’m sure people are over this by now with everything else that’s gone on”). For the very same reason that I have yet to finish the “Kristi retreat journal cartoon” because dang, I’m trying to keep up with posting content every day on instagram.
    OF COURSE – this is a self-created drama.
    Of course I am the one that is putting these “have-tos” on myself.
    FEK. I don’t “have to” do anything. Thank goodness I am so old and wise to know this, and even so – I feel some kind of internal pressure – I cannot imagine what it must feel like for young bloggers trying to do it all these days. Kudos to you.
  3. We are creating a culture of “CHURNALISM”
    WISH I could claim that fancy term as my own – but it came from Sarah in our conversation on this topic – who heard it at an open book festival where veteran journalists were telling people to stop churning out masses and masses of surface level content and just slow the fuck down. (I added the fuck in case you were wondering). The more we create like this, the more we consume like this. And the more we consume like this – the more wired we are for this type of consumption. We need to read. Stop. Process. Digest. Absorb. Social media culture trains us in scroll. read. tap. scroll. scroll. read. scroll. read. scroll. scroll. read. scroll.
  4. WE ARE TURNING OUR BRAINS TO MUSH
    This is my theory: Your brain is a little house.
    You have a shiny red bow that you love. This is your memory.
    It is very easy to find your red bow of memory when your house is all in order.
    But then – us being the CHURNALISM NATION that we are – like to put a whole bunch of shit in that house (sometimes it’s good shit, and sometimes it’s random shit)

    And now, trying to find that bow is like a little bit of mayhem. (We then experience anxiety, stress, memory loss Of course the bow is always there – but it’s freaken buried under 75 thousand Facebook notifications and 60 thousand Instagram likes.
    NB NOTE: THEORY NOT BASED IN ACTUAL SCIENCE. (But I am sure if searched the internet long enough I could find something to support “the little house theory”.)
  5. WHERE we are consuming content is changing
    Remember that delightful little blankie and hot-chocolate scene I laid out earlier? Ah, sigh – those were the good ol days. Back when we had to consume the internet at our computers. Now we are consuming content on the go, whilst in the trains, in our cars, whilst waiting in line, whilst pushing prams. (Freaken heck, yesterday at the dentist I legitimately thought – “I wonder if I could put a podcast in while this guy is attacking my molar?”) I am guilty. guilty. guilty.
  6. We are losing the state of wonder.
    Remember that time long ago when you looked up at the stars and wondered how they worked? You maybe gazed up and marvelled in wonder at these giant shiny things and had many wild and wonderful speculations about what stars were, how they worked, what they were made of, and how they shone in this universe. Maybe you asked someone older or wiser or a engaged with a friend to get their thoughts. You pondered, you marvelled, you reflected. Maybe if you were really intrigued you went to the local library to find out more – the point being, you only found the information that you were truly intent on seeking. The rest was a state of wonder. Now, if we don’t know what a star is or how an engine works – we don’t spend our day in wonder or “figuring it out” – we just google and there it is. Don’t get me wrong – this is one of the greatest things that the internet has brought to us – ALL THE INFORMATION… and it IS truly wonderful… but it’s also just another little something to add to our already exploding house.

As a content creator and definite content-over-consumer, I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s ok to slow down. To take the two minutes you need to, to make a cup of tea, take a few breaths and be present with whatever it is that you are consuming. Reflect on it… absorb it… sit with it. Be mindful of the type of content you choose to consume. The way in which you consume and HOW you consume it. Make it a CHOICE rather than a mindless (whilst-waiting-in-line) consumption. From the content consumer side of things: I’m still working on it.

On the “content creator” spectrum – I’m slowly swinging my way back to a more “regular” (using that term loosely) deeper (ie: not-just-instagram) content creation phase

But in the mean time, go ahead and enjoy your tea –
because it may just take a while.

x