I would like to talk about the differences, the similarities and the relationship between information consumption and information production. So the first thing that we have to realize is that in order to produce information you must first consume it. When we consume information we are learning a skill. when you apply what you have learned with that new skill then you are participating in information production. Information production is important because it gives us the opportunity to showcase our talents and skills to other people. But in order to effectively learn new skills we have to be well-versed in the consumption of information.
The Difference Between Information Consumption and Production
What is the difference between the two? The difference between consumption and production lies in our various forms of communication. Communication is a way for people to share their thoughts and opinions with each other. Consumption of information involves visually with the eyes and audibly with the ears. Production of information involves writing with the hands and speaking with the mouth. So the various forms of communication are speaking, writing, listening, and seeing.
I have touched upon the idea that the Internet has led to information overload. Now with this copious amount of information, people have access to consume a lot of information. This means that we need to be able to manage this excess. This much information must be consumed in a very effective way. Efficient information consumption involves being in the proper headspace with a clear mind and a quiet peaceful environment with no distractions. Ideally, this would be the proper setup but life does not always give up the best place to absorb information without any issues. Not only does the information that we consume have to be good, but we also have to be focused in order to absorb it properly. If both the information that we are receiving is bad and we are not in a proper environment for efficient consumption then it is all for naught. Depending on how complex and technical the information we are consuming is, we might have a hard time absorbing it. Due to information overload, we have to be very careful on the kind of information that we are consuming and how we are consuming it. Otherwise we are just wasting a lot of time consuming information that will not be able to produce anything at a later time.
Consuming vs. Production: What is Harder?
If you think about it, information consumption is probably easier because the information is already there waiting for us to absorb it. While with information production, we actually have to create something from our mind. We have to be able to take the different pieces or inputs of what we consumed and build something with it. With consumption, the information is already there. So all we have to do is just absorb what already exists. So if you think of it this way, then information consumption should be easier than production just because we are comparing something that already exists versus something that has to be created.
Consumption Without Production
Is there any point to consuming information if you’re not going to use it to produce anything? No, not really. It does not really make any sense to consume information just for the sake of consumption. If you are not actually going to use it, why consume? Why is that the case? The reason why is because if you do not produce something with consumed information then you are just learning something that is probably going to be obsolete and go to waste anyway. The production of consumed information ensures that the information that you have consumed is constantly updated. Since you are constantly using it, you are constantly exercising your mind in order to produce content that is relevant and current. This content is useful and can be used with people. So therefore just learning or just consuming content at a certain point in time without updating it is useless as you are just going to be dealing with outdated content that cannot be used to produce anything. Regardless, you would have to revisit that content for updates. Then you can finally produce again because as time changes, so does the relevancy of information.
The Cycle of Consumption and Production: The Need to Produce Better Results
We constantly have to update ourselves with new information for any changes that occur over time. This is called re-consumption. So I just touched upon in the previous paragraph the idea of having to reconcile information and how its relevance might be short-lived. We now understand the urgency to constantly update what we learn, absorb, and understand so that we can produce some piece of content that is actually going to be useful for people. This places pressure on us to produce even better content because we not only have the idea or re-consumption but also re-production.
Re-production happens when you have to update the content that you produce because you are receiving new information from re-consumption. So this becomes a cycle of consumption, production, re-consumption, re-production and then back to re-consumption and re-production.
So this is an interesting topic for me because you do not really realize this until you actually kind of step back and think about it. These are things that we do automatically but do not actually realize because it is second nature. We instinctively perform these actions without having to give much thought to it. So when we give some time to reflect and think about this more, the human mind is pretty amazing on how it manages the automation of these processes. We do not actually exert any real force, energy, or power to actually tell our mind to do this. These things kind of happen in order automatically.
When you realize this you start to understand the power of information. The cycle of re-consumption and re-production are required to produce great content. But as I stated earlier, the production of great content really has to do with how you consume information and produce content as much as you have to be fully versed and knowledgeable in whatever topic your researching.
So you cannot solely rely on the consumption of information to do that for you. You yourself have to know how to use your newly consumed information. If you consume information poorly, then you will produce poor content. We have an acronym for that, GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). If you start with good and clean data to consume, then what you produce with that consumed data will be good too.
Since we have a need the constantly update ourselves, then realize that there is a cycle of information consumption, production, re-consumption, and re-production. This cycles always spins and never really ends because information keeps changing. Therefore we are also in this continuous cycle. This consumption-production cycle is necessary to prevent obsolescence. Since these wheels keep spinning, we have to figure out girl how keep this engine running and also handle information overload at the same time. The reason why is because poor information overload management will lead to a very poor running cycle. A cycle that constantly spin its wheels to keep turning information around means that it has to be highly efficient otherwise the whole system will fail.
Static versus Dynamic Information Consumption
Information consumption is done visually through the eyes as a form of communication. When we absorb content with the eyes we are looking at the words, the text, the spacing, the colors, etc. We are taking all of this in and trying to make sense of it. Now I would like to talk about the difference between absorbing static information versus dynamic information. Static information is information that does not change. You are looking straight on to a piece of paper or on a screen information that does not change. In this case, you can focus on it. Dynamic information changes and comes from different directions. There are a lot more things going on and therefore consuming dynamic information is something that requires more work and effort because of the constant changes. Your eyes are trying to take all of that information in, even hard when it is changing all of the time. As human beings we have a mind that has the amazing ability to switch between the absorption of static and dynamic information on-the-fly.
A good example of dynamic information is when you are driving. When you drive, you constantly have to look at your periphery, the outside corners, the edges of your vision. You are looking for visual cues coming from different directions. As you consume different information from all different places, you constantly have to gauge and change your driving based on this constant change in information. But this is done with your eyes because it is your eyes that are consuming the information. Everything is being done visually. Your eyes are consuming dynamic information and your steering wheel acts as the production of information. So everything starts with your eyes absorbing information and the production of this information is your driving. So basically it is inputs versus outputs. The input is what your eyes see and the output is your driving.
Another way that we consume information is when we listen with our ears. We also use sound as a form of input and we react to that input. How we react to audio information is a form of information production. I would like to use an example to illustrate this point. Many people on a farm had farm animals. One common farm animal is the rooster. The rooster’s role is to make a sound every morning to wake everyone up and to tell them that it is time to wake up and go to work. So we are consuming information in the form of a sound that the rooster’s making. Then our information production is our reaction to that sound which is supposed to make us wake up in the morning. So this is an example of how our ears use sound to consume information as inputs and a reaction to those inputs is a form of information production which is an output.
Producing Information: Writing versus Speaking
I mentioned earlier that information production involves both writing and speaking. There are many inherent differences between using writing and speaking as forms of communication when it comes to information production. Writing is a lot slower than speaking naturally because with each word that you write, there is a lot of thought and concentration behind it. You are actually thinking about how to construct the words that you want to write down in your mind. So how you actually write sharply contrasts with speaking.
Speaking is different because we have a tendency to just speak quickly without being able to have all of our thoughts ready to actually utter a complete thought. Like, we just kind of say the first thought that pops into our head. So the difference between writing and speaking is that writing tends to be more formal. When we speak, it tends to be more casual, as in conversation. So depending on our audience, we choose to communicate either through writing or speaking. Depends on how formal we want our produced content to be. I’m not saying that speaking cannot create formal content, but rather the speaking has to be done as more in the form of a speech rather than just a casual conversation where you just say things off the top of your head. This has to do with the inherent process of speaking where you are absorbing information and having to react to it on-the-fly. At the same time you are having too both formulate thoughts in your head while being able to actually reply. Having a conversation in real-time means that both people are both consuming and producing information at the same time. So there is a lot more worth that goes into speaking than compared to writing.
Writing is a lot more different because typically when you write, usually you are just by yourself. So you are able to formulate thoughts in your head without carrying on a conversation with someone. So you are able to complete thoughts in your head without having to worry about absorbing any inputs. So the content that you produce tends to be a lot more developed because your thoughts are not being distracted from an outside source. So knowing this we can see the difference when you’re producing information through writing versus Speaking.
Consuming Information Using the Five Human Senses
There are 5 human senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Every single one of these senses is a method of information consumption. So what this means is that we use these five senses to absorb information from our surrounding environment. Each human sense gives us different information. So based on the kind of information that we absorb, we can produce some kind of content or react a certain way. I talked about how people receive inputs from different sources. So each one of these senses is a variable that receives different inputs depending on the situation and environment. So you can think of these five senses in a formula. Basically the formula is the sum of all of these senses that will equal some kind of result, output, or decision. There are some similarities between the different forms of communication with the five senses. So when we combine the various forms of communication with human senses we can kind of see how complicated things can get when you have to absorb so many inputs at once that are constantly changing. But no matter how complicated the formula gets, there is always one single result at the end. Now we as humans have the ability to create great results. The greatness of those results is really up to each individual person.
So I want to recap this article and say that information consumption and production are just as related as they are different depending on the form of communication you are engaging in. Both consumption and production are related because as humans we constantly are in a cycle of re-consumption and reproduction to stay current and relevant. No one wants an outdated solution so the only way to provide a better one is to re-consume new information and deliver a better result that will give people a better solution.
The other point that I would like to bring up again is that all five of the human senses are all forms of information consumption. They all serve as inputs to produce some kind of result.