Not to be confused with The Medium is the Massage, but when you see something interesting happen — maybe something funny, maybe a beautiful sight, or a something completely unexpected — what is your immediate reaction to do with that newfound knowledge?
Based on the mediums you spend your time, you’ll likely have a completely different answer. For myself, I’ve spent entirely too much of the last few years on Twitter (but you can still follow adamfortuna on there!). Because of this, I’ve recognized myself occasionally thinking in 140 characters. How limiting is that? It got me wondering what I did to start thinking in that limited box?
I tried thinking back to other times in my life when I’d thought in specific mediums and a few stood out:
- When working on a Code School course on D3.js, I started thinking in graphs more.
- After time spent estimating every detail at work, I started estimating anything that I encountered.
- When creating photo blog posts, I started seeing better angles for shots in the real world.
- After coding many sites from scratch, I started seeing any problem as solvable with a website.
- After many user interviews, I’ve come to start asking “why” more when I have an idea.
Some of these are useful, some of them not so much. The last, for example, is a problem that many engineers run into — they are more interested in creating something than validating it’s a good idea.
Even last week I mentioned the idea of a website, stuffoverti.me with the idea of creating something for it. I chatted with some people and threw the idea on some forums — but it was almost unanimously disliked. Being able to think in a medium, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
If your first thought was to share it online, you might be spending a lot of time online.
- Instagram — Take a Picture
- Twitter — Write a brief comment
- Facebook — Picture/Comment tag a friend.
Share The Experience
What if your first reaction was to share the experience with someone in person? Tell your husband or wife about. Show the sight to a child. This might mean you’re spending a lot of time
Write About It
As a result of trying to write more, I’m realizing that observations are being translated into long-form content. This post came to my mind when I was looking over my newly planted front-yard garden and wondered what I could write about doing the minimal amount of work needed for a lawn.
If I was spending a lot of time on social media, I would’ve likely taken a picture and shared it and stopped there. Instead I ended up asking a question to myself that somehow ended up going meta and asking what I asked it — resulting in this post.
I’m completely in awe of people who can draw. It’s a skill that takes a tremendous amount of practice and dedication. One of my July goals is to write a post that includes a drawing.
Even drawing has numerous outcomes in mind. Drawing for practice, drawing to communicate an idea, to express a thought or many others.
Trying New Mediums
I’m looking forward to trying to think in new and different mediums and mindfully look for chances to try new mediums of expression — however uncomfortable they may be to start.