We rush to do. We fail to rest. The boundaries of work and play have all but faded into oblivion. Our society keeps running, keeps going and keeps keeping on (pardon the pun). In short we consume. Whether it be products, the media (social and other), we consume things that masquerade as food. Many wheels turn because of consumption. Bank accounts are filled. Subscribers or viewers are reached and this is considered consumption.
The verb consume is defined as: To use up (a resource); buy goods or services (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/consume)
The noun consumption is defined as: 1.2 An amount of something which is used up or ingested. 1.3 The purchase of goods and services by the public. 2. dated A wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/consumption
We take in. we devour. But sometimes what we take in is not sustenance. We are unable to subsist on rhetoric, propaganda and hearsay. Even our food is bereft of nutrients to keep us healthy. If you are the anomaly that takes in brain food (meaning knowledge) it is diametrically opposed to the never ending influx of meaningless chatter that fails to expand our thought process and enrich our souls. Maybe that is why the “dated” definition of consumption is “a wasting away.” Maybe it is a subliminal message letting us know that consuming the latest phone, TV, gadgets, name brand clothing or accessories will still leave us feeling empty and alone after the initial dopamine wears off.
Rhetoric can be good. After all it is only the monologue that many folks utilize. There have been many great rhetorical speeches and a list can be found here: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/top100speechesall.html. Rhetorical speech can enlighten us, challenge what we think is truth and can help us grow. But like most superpowers it can be used for evil—even by people we trust.
To consume is a necessary part of life. The trick is to balance what we consume for “fun” with something that is sustainable—maybe even meaningful. Think to yourself next time you want to run out to purchase the latest greatest widget; do you need it or want it? Is it going to serve you or will it require so much of your resources that it will consume your very existence much like the consumption of centuries past? Will that video, audio or stream give you something that is useful and good or will it plant a seed of darkness that will grow and consume you?