Several weeks ago I completed the September Whole 30 (yay me! I can eat bread and cheese again!) and so I had been thinking a lot about food. Well I often think a lot about food which is probably why I did the Whole 30 in the first place BUT I had specifically been thinking about it in terms of the choices I make when it comes to food. How I can only eat so much at any given time and so I need to really think about what I decide to put into my body because there are many options out there but some are going to be healthier choices than others.
And while it started with food, I quickly started thinking about all the content we consume. ALL of the things we put into our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our souls.
Just like my iPhone will run out of storage space if I keep filling it with apps, photos and music so my life will quickly fill up with content and I too can run out of capacity if I’m not intentional about filtering what is coming in.
In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with thoughts, opinions, information, images, ads, I’m finding that I need to be a bit more selective about the content I allow to up space in my life and possibly let go of some things in order to make room for other, potentially more important content.
When thinking about content, my mind immediately goes to my purse. Now to be fair, I’m a mom so I automatically have a purse filled with random
crap things like crayons (in case they get bored) and lots of crumbs but then I also have old receipts, loose change, way too many pens and at least one notepad for collecting ideas, my huge wallet, and all kinds of other miscellaneous items. So that when I actually have to find something like say my library card, I have to take everything out just to get to what I need.
The problem; I have way too many things in my purse that don’t belong there and they are taking space away from what I actually need to have easy access to.
I need to empty all the contents of my purse and then get rid of the “trash” and only put back what belongs there.
See where I’m going with this?
I think it might be time for a content audit or a content DIET if you will.
Friends, I personally need to be more selective about how I spend my time and energy and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Lately it seems like we are all just bombarded by information and not all of it is healthy.
The internet and social media in particular has been stressing me the heck out. Please hear me, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t engage with people who have differing perspectives, of course we should. But I highly recommend engaging in actual (live) conversation when it comes to difficult subjects and not just popping off through a comment on someone’s wall (who we may or may not even know). Some topics really require face to face discussion.
So I’m proposing a Content Diet of sorts. Now being as how I’m just coming off Whole 30 I’m not going to set a 30 day challenge or anything. But how about taking a few days to intentionally look at what we are consuming and honestly assessing how it makes us feel and what we’re actually getting out of it?
I’m not going to tell you exactly what to do because you’re a grown up and you’re the boss of you but if you feel like joining me here are a few content areas that I’ll be “dieting” from (filtering through, removing the unhealthy or excess and keeping only what is good for me):
Experts/Ideas/Information: I value learning and growing so I tend to sign up for newsletters and blogs from all kinds of interesting people. And while what they are doing is good, I’m realizing it’s not all the best for me. There are a handful of experts and leaders that I find consistently helpful in my work life and personal life and those are the ones I tend to read regularly and actually apply their information. So I’m cutting back on all of the others.
Practical tool: Unfollowing– there is a great little button on Facebook that allows you to unfollow people’s posts so that you’re still “friends” but don’t have to see All. Of. The. Newsfeeds. I’m using it. Also choosing to unfollow/unsubscribe from certain blogs and lists that are just not the best content for me. We can be selective friends; we don’t need to read every single person’s thoughts on every single thing. We just don’t.
Technology/Social Media: I have a real love/hate relationship with social media. It can be a great way to connect with loved ones who may not be physically close but can be a huge distraction.
I love that I am able to participate in several really wonderful private Facebook groups from bible study to mastermind groups for writing and working but I hate conflict and people can get mean on Facebook if I just scroll through the comments. So, I’m cutting back on groups to the ones where I actually participate and have a sense of community with and will be limiting my “scrolling” time.
Practical tool: Unplugging– I need time away. I need to be more present with my actual in real life people. I’m calling it a “scrolling Sabbath”. I’m taking a short break each day away from screens and a longer break on the weekend. Taking a day, hour or just a few minutes off can make a huge difference for your peace of mind.
Stuff/See also Advertisements for more stuff: I love a bargain, don’t you? But unfortunately in my search for great deals or coupon codes I end up subscribing to emails lists for stores and end up with a ton of ads filling up my inbox. And then I see a great deal and I click on it and end up ordering more things that I actually don’t need. (I may need to write an grown-up of version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie- If You Give a Girl a Coupon) 🙁
Practical tool: Unsubscribing– Rather than just deleting emails from various online shopping sites, I’m taking an extra minute to unsubscribe. If I need to find a coupon later on for 20% off at my favorite store, I’ll find it later but I don’t need to be bombarded by “sales” every single day. I’m also taking time to evaluate what I actually “need” and letting go of some of the unnecessary clutter in my home.
Like with our food getting rid of the “junk” content in our lives makes space for the quality, the filling, the best choices.
OK friends, who’s with me? These are just a few ways in which I’ll be “dieting” but there may be other areas in your own life that could use a content filter. Let me know in the comments below if you feel led to join me.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8