Content consumes us.
It is all around us every part of our day and it can easily suck us in. The content that we surround ourselves with matters and it can have drastic effects on how we feel throughout the day.
Last night as I was scrolling through Pinterest, as I so often do, I found that I was coming across pins that were making me feel less than others. They make me doubt my abilities as a blogger, as an entrepreneur, and my writing abilities. Silently questioning if I was good enough to do what I do. Oh, that little voice in the back of my head was beginning to have a field day.
Welcome to the dark side of content consumption.
Have you ever been scrolling Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and see content that just makes you question yourself as a content creator? I have and it happened again last night. I now know that when I see something that makes me feel anything less than amazing, it is time to close it down or unfollow what made me feel that way. Sometimes it is as “simple” as asking myself why I feel that way.
This post isn’t about ‘calling out content creators’ who are making you feel anything less than fabulous. It is a post to talk about how you can help yourself in that moment when you feel like you are trapped within the dark side of content consumption.
I am a big believer in unfollowing those who just don’t make you feel great. Whether that means pausing them for a bit or completely unfollowing them. I pause those creators who make me question my abilities. Not because I don’t support them or not because I feel their content or messaging isn’t correct BUT because I need to stay focused on what I am trying to achieve and sometimes that means taking a break from the content of those I know.
As content creators, we tend to consume content with a different set of eyes. We are learning to grow as we consume content. We keep track of how certain things make us feel and we start to bring that into our own content creation. This is an important piece of being a content creator. Consuming content for learning purposes.
We learn by seeing.
We learn to adapt our content.
We learn to see what others can’t.
We learn to notice the way certain things make us feel.
All of this so that we can create content for ourselves or clients and ensure that those who are consuming our content are left feeling the emotions that we want them to feel.
We have all been stuck on the side of content that made us feel drained but how do we get out of it? How do we get back to feeling like ourselves when consuming content?
There is really no way around consuming content but we just need to figure out a way to do it that can be healthier. Here are some tips to help you consume the content that you love.
Set a time limit
How often have you lost track of time when scrolling through one of your platforms? Is there a certain one for you that is particularly bad? Pinterest is that platform for me. I could lose an hour easily by scrolling through all of the beautiful content that has been created.
A great way to give yourself time on the platforms you love while not overdoing it is to set a timer before you start scrolling. Give yourself 5-10 minutes if you are looking for something specific. If you haven’t found what you are looking for after that then shut it down.
If you are scrolling just to scroll, do the same thing and set a timer. This way you aren’t losing a huge chunk of time but you are still getting to look through the platform that you love.
Follow only those who make you feel good
This seems like it should be pretty straightforward but I have caught myself questioning my abilities because someone I follow said something. They didn’t mean it in a way that was meant to hurt but I now know myself well enough that it means I just need to take a break from them. I may love their content but if it isn’t making me feel good, their content is doing more harm than good.
Consume less, create more
Maybe it is time to stop consuming as much content as you are and start creating more content. Why not put out the content that you wish to see?!?! If you already have a blog, create content that is going to educate, inform, and inspire those who see your content. If you don’t have a blog, start one and start creating content that you feel passionate about.
Journal about something that may have triggered you
As I said earlier, there was a Pinterest pin that I saw last night that totally made me feel like I was less than who I am. It wasn’t the fault of the content creator and it was for personal reasons but knowing this and examining it will help when I am scrolling in the future.
Journal what you saw and how it made you feel. Dig deeper into why you felt like that. For me, I was already in my head, and seeing that pin just made that little voice get louder. Journaling may even help you create other content and discover things that you just didn’t realize.
Be intentional with content
When you are intentional with the content – not just the time, like I mentioned before, that you are looking at, you are going to feel better when you do it. Being intentional gives you the freedom to look at the content that makes you feel good without feeling guilty.
Those are a few tips for when you are consuming content. Next, I want to talk about how to create content that will make people feel good and not fall into the dark side of content.
At the end of the day, as content creators, we have a purpose for our content: to inspire, motivate, teach, and bring happiness. Most of us don’t create content to make those who look at it feel bad. We wouldn’t be creating content for very long if that was the case.
Just like with me, sometimes it can happen even when you don’t expect it to and that is okay. Here are some tips that will help you to create content that will make people feel good.
There is nothing worse than content that is fake. To make content that is going to make a difference in someone’s life, be yourself. We don’t need to make everything shiny and perfect. We need to share our stories and share who we are in the content that we create.
Focus on teaching
You can certainly sell on your content as that is important too but you want to remember that teaching with your content is important. No one wants to be sold to all of the time, leave them with Value!
Use real-life examples
Humanize your content. We all have stories. We all want to hear stories. Start sharing your stories so that you can bring a human side to your content. People connect with real and authentic.
We usually overthink the content creation process. It really comes down to sharing your knowledge but doing it in a way that is unique to you. Here are some more content ideas for when you are just stuck.
When it comes to the dark side of content consumption, there are ways that you can avoid it but sometimes feelings come up and you just need to work through them. There are so many benefits to all of the content that we see every day and it is important to remember that content is there for our benefit.
If it is no longer benefiting you then it is time to move on from that type of content. You have a choice in what content you are consuming. It is time to be honest with yourself about what makes you feel good, and what makes you doubt yourself – it’s about getting out of the dark and into the creative.