Though not my favorite Pixar movie (Monster’s Inc.!), I think Wall-E offers a valuable social commentary, especially for a kid’s movie (the norm for Pixar). Remember the Axiom, the giant spaceship that the humans “lived” on? I put live in quotes, because they essentially rode around the ship in motorized chairs, drinking, eating and engaging not with each other, but their personalized computer consoles. (They’re also all morbidly obese, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
This portrayal is obviously an exaggeration, but the warning is not lost. What are we becoming?
Sometimes I feel bogged down talking and writing about content, and when I’m not doing those things, I’m writing actual content. Content content content. Please don’t think I’m writing against content for a content marketing blog; hear me out.
I recently read a post about a guy who took a social media break for five days, and two points he made stuck out to me:
- “I spent more time having verbal conversations with friends and family.”
- “Instead of reading about the different hobbies I enjoy (Crossfit, sports, writing, etc.); I took the time to improve my performance in each of those areas.”
Being a good verbal communicator does come naturally to some people and others have to work harder at it. But we’re all capable of becoming better and/or worse. Perhaps we take face-to-face interactions for granted, both personally and professionally. Social media outlets are valuable tools, but are we letting them replace actually speaking to clients? Are we spending so much time brainstorming and planning posts and photos that we forget who we’re actually trying to reach? I’m definitely guilty of settling for the ease of digital communication, which is appropriate and preferred sometimes, but not all the time. Balance is key.
I’m also guilty of the second point—research over action. Research, research, research and then write. Don’t get me wrong, I love research: One more reason why I think (unbiasedly, of course) that writing is the best job in the world. But again, balance. Here at EVG, I write content for hotel websites. Research and write, and implement those SEO keywords! But every once in a while, it’s nice to be the person doing the traveling, exploring and experiencing, even if it’s taking a day trip or visiting a new local restaurant.
How much doing are we doing? Traveling, reading for pleasure, cooking, hiking, exercising, participating in hobbies. Basic life activities, yes, but with a value far more than rudimentary. “Doing” becomes our energy and pool of inspiration, yet when we’re in the office we find ourselves weighed down with deadlines or researching yet one more article or participating in one more webinar.
Now, lest you think I’m suggesting that we all board one of those international cruise ships and sail away forever, let me say it again: balance. I’m thankful for the myriad of resources out there to improve both our writing and our content marketing skills. I like technology and find it very useful. But I just don’t want to get sucked in so far that I lose a sense of and desire for personal experience, whatever activity that entails.
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Jeanne Petrizzo – Writer/Editor