Passive Work: The Invaluable Benefits of Social Media

David - About Lifestyle - August 06, 2020

Ever felt guilty for spending hours watching crazy videos on Youtube? Ever wondered why certain people were keener on trying new things while others would always stay in their comfort zone? Truth be told, so did I. And then I figured out.

It's called passive work, and it happens as you take a break and decide to chill out on your smartphone or laptop. At this exact moment, while browsing through the endless news and videos feed, you're actually working without noticing.

In this article, I'll tell you what's passive work, how to use it to your advantage, and why it may quickly become one of the next major ways to educate people.

Table of Contents
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What Is Passive Work?

When you wing up your smartphone and launch Youtube, then pick a video, play it, watch it, jump to another random video, and do it all over again. Provided that you watch videos focused on varied topics you're not familiar with, this is passive work.

Passive work is consuming information and learning things while not having the intent to actually learn anything. By reading random articles and watching random videos, you get chunks of knowledge that help you comprehend many matters better.

Obviously, it's nothing too solid nor anything that will turn you into an expert overnight. But it will give you a grasp of something you had absolutely no knowledge about beforehand.

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Passive Work in Social Media: Breakdown

Every social media is more or less similar. However, each of them has something special to offer. Let's see what's going on with the majors:

  1. Youtube: This platform goes beyond traditional education by providing you with audio and video content. For sports and manual activities in general, this is super helpful. You can see the movements, the technique, and pause when needed. Just by clicking one random video after the other, you explore different areas you had never stepped into.

  2. Wikipedia: There's not much to say about it other than what you know already. It's a free online encyclopedia that covers absolutely everything you can think of, or almost.

  3. Medium: This platform gathers writers and readers. Be it for teaching, ranting, or exposure, thousands of excellent writers come here to share their knowledge. Most articles are free, well-written, and easy to read thanks to the clean aesthetic of the website.

  4. Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest: These social networks can help you find excellent recipes, wonderful spots to visit, beautiful home decorating ideas, and so much more. The main point is, these social networks can inspire you, keep you up with the news, put you in contact with other people, and again, so much more.

Therefore, I wouldn't blame anyone for spending hours on these platforms. For sure, too much is too much, and what's important is the intent. But so far, if you're consuming content that makes you learn something, feel better, or give you the motivation to undertake new challenges, just go for it and don't feel guilty for "procrastinating".

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Passive Work: The Invaluable Benefits

With great powers come great benefits. Let's sum up passive work's main benefits:

  1. Passive work teaches you how to scan information: Remember these endless feeds on Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram? When you scroll for hours on these websites, you're potentially wasting your time. Yet in the meantime, you're building an insanely valuable skill, which is scanning information. Ever wondered why certain people are just better at searching Google? There you have it. The more you expose your brain to a huge quantity of information, the better it learns how to scour it.

  2. Passive work takes you to surprising places: The good point about data feeds on your favorite mobile apps is, they're not predictable. They depend on news, friends, recommendations, and trends. And if you're curious enough, you stumble across extremely good content that teaches you something you knew nothing about beforehand.

  3. Passive work expands your culture: That's the result of the two points above. Since you scan information better, and you use your curiosity to jump from one content to another that is completely different and out of your scope, your culture progressively becomes larger. You receive tiny bits of information that eventually gather to shape a global knowledge base you can easily navigate. That helps you understand your environment better, and jump into new experiences with ease.

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How Passive Work Will Quickly Become Massive

Since we're living in this attention economy where time is precious, companies and content creators are doing all they can to make us consume their content.

That's why, over time, we've seen this massive growth on Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media. Content creators have their audience, and companies pour more and more money into social-awareness, influencers, and content creation. And there's actually more content created daily, than what a normal human could consume in a lifetime.

I believe that, eventually, this race for attention will lead to a race for quality. And, for us consumers, that is excellent. Watching videos on Youtube and Instagram will feel like taking online classes about cooking, painting, maths, drawing, etc. Except that it's free.

To be honest, I think it's already happening. With all these tutorials, online classes, and walkthroughs, there's already a lot we can teach ourselves. Even Netflix, for instance, started making more and more documentaries and story-based series.

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Passive Work: The Bottom Line

Through entertainment, passive work makes us learn.

Thanks to social media and massive content creation, we are given the opportunity to bite into every apple of the Internet's jungle, and get out with chunks of information that expand our culture and help us apprehend every new experience with more ease.

As the attention economy grows, so does passive work.

Maybe shall I call it passive learning? All in all, passive work has nothing to do with earning money.

Oh, also. Shall we call passive work all the interactions we have with Google and Facebook that participate in making their algorithms better?

Let me know what's your opinion in the comments.

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