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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

For the love of God, stop calling me a ‘content creator.’ I’m not at all content!

And don’t even get me started on heteronyms!

When I sit down to write articles like this one, I do so under the impression that I am a “writer.” I was recently informed, however, that I am not in fact a “writer.” No, no, no, I don’t mean that I was fired. I mean that apparently, I should be called something else instead of a writer. 

Does this mean I still am a writer? Was I ever a writer before? Given the fact that I use my brain’s lifelong accumulation of linguistic and lexicographic understanding to weave words into meaningful prose, I always assumed that what I’ve been doing all this time is “writing.”

But I was wrong. This is NOT writing and I am NOT a writer, a shocking revelation almost too abstract to abstract. What do I actually do and what it is that I should call myself? Perhaps just “writer” is too general of a term….. Am I in fact a humor writer? A satire writer? A humorist? A satirist? A columnist?

No! Too specific! Too hyper-specialized! Too conventional! No, no, no, I am now aware that I have a far superior and much more modern and important sounding job title than any of those: I am a “content creator.” Alright, great. Now what on earth is a content creator? That could mean just about anything! Would I still be writing, or is content creation something else entirely?

I first assumed that they wanted to give me a new title because they needed me to do something different. So I began an exhaustive and exhausting quest to determine exactly what this new title meant. I hoped it wouldn’t involve math—I couldn’t be any number to numbers. Best to leave that to people who really love math—the “numbers people.” 

But I had a good feeling that my new title as a “content creator” wouldn’t involve any math since numbers don’t have to be created, at least not if they’re real numbers. The only people who actually do create numbers are golfers who lie about their handicap, businessmen who lie about their income to cheat on their taxes and politicians who lie about the numbers relating to crowd sizes, the coronavirus and “fraudulent” mail-in ballots. In other words, number people, by which I mean people who are a bit more numb and indifferent to reality than the most.

I’m neither a numbers person nor a number person and I don’t golf, so I’m never planning on putting putting ahead of trying to progress progress. So there’s no way “content creators” are numbers people—could they be “words people” like me, perhaps? Let’s see…. religion involves lots of words being used for the creation and fabrication of extremely large amounts of content. Luckily, I learned that my work as a learned content creator doesn’t have to involve religion. This is great because incense incense me and I object to having to subject myself to a project whose object is to project certainty on subjects where science and reason offer only hypotheses and questions. Thus, it would not be appropriate to appropriate religion’s misleading strategies when it comes to creating content for my job.

At this point, I was told that my job would not change and that I’d still be doing the same tasks. Yet, I was not any closer to figuring out what “content creation” actually means. If the job was different in name only, my first guess was that I was considered a “content creator” for creating a spirit of contentment amongst my supposed readership. Reading is supposed to make people content, right? Well, here we run into another problem. My readership is composed largely of left-leaning Americans and I often write about politics, meaning my content likely makes them even less content with the current political situation. Meanwhile, reading on religious subjects tends to make religious subjects highly content, but we’ve already determined that religious leaders are not content creators. But it sure sounds like they are….

The only other idea I can come up with is that content creators are expected to actually be content all the time. But why the hell would you name a job based on how the person doing it feels? Do I have to be content all the time? Or only some of the time? Are they assuming that I’m already content? Or are they attempting to forcibly impose contentment upon me? Because I must say, I’m not at all content! Far from it! And having an employer that does the latter sounds pretty dystopian and totalitarian to me! (Wow, it looks like religion has this type of content creation covered too!)

How many more of these mood-based job titles must we put up with? What’s next? A Blithesome Butcher? A Perturbed Proctologist? A Zany Zookeeper? A Distraught Dentist? A Pervy Priest? (Looks like religion has a third type of content creation covered too….) 

After all this worrying and speculating about my “new” job, I eventually learned that it was all for nought because the “content” refers to the writing that I’m creating. As Wikipedia puts it, “Content creation is the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts.” Well of course, that seems so obvious now. “Contributing information” to “specific contexts”…..DUH! But again, isn’t that what just about everyone does in some form or another?

So then….. Why can’t I just be called a WRITER? It’s more specific despite having fewer words and syllables! But people really insist on calling me a “content creator.” I don’t get it. This gives me a headache. Whoever came up with this whole “content creation” thing sure was a top tier tier of knots in one’s brain. I can feel my intellectual muscles tearing and my eyes tearing up. If it wasn’t clear, I think all of this is as absurd as a fever dream about having to consort with and bow down to a consort of bow tie-wearing, bass-playing bass just because they bravely managed to concert all of their energy to play a concert of fish music while holding their breaths above the water.

Labeling anyone who does any meaningful work something as general, vague, empty and meaningless as a “content creator” is just a way to make people feel more important; meanwhile, the people who are really running the internet slowly dehumanize actual writing and and other truly thoughtful “creative content” to the point that it blends in and stops taking attention away from abundance of lifeless consumer product-related “content” filling our ad banners. If all this fancy merchandise that Big Tech is trying to merchandise as it exploits our creative exploits deserves labels more specific than “content,” why doesn’t writing?

But enough complaining from me. It is now close to “the close” of the article. “The close” confines my content thoughts and my thoughts on content to the close confines of my brain until I put pen to paper to “create content” again.

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu 

(This article is humor and/or satire, and it’s content is purely fictional. The story and or names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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