I’ve been focusing more on creating than consuming content online these days. It’s kind of a hot topic on the internet these days and has been for a while now because I guess the pandemic had a lot to do with the raise in the quantity of online content produced.
We’re getting to the point in the history of blogs and social media where each one of us is an influencer or a content creator ourselselves. As consumers, I bet you’ve grown tired of the number of people you follow on Instagram, for example, to the point you don’t really see the content of the people you’re interested in. Now you scroll through your feed and you can barely remember the people you see or why you started following them in the first place.
I particularly have been detoxing/decreasing my number of follows, especially on Instagram and YouTube, for a while now, because I’d been noticing I was spending A LOT of time consuming the content of others instead of making my own — to make it worse, 80% of that content was not of the quality I wanted to consume or wasn’t even inspiring enough for me to keep watching. Imagine YouTube, where you have to actually sit down and commit to watch a 10, 20 and even 30 minutes long video.
How I manage the content I consume nowadays
At the beginning the clean up was SUPER tiresome, because it required (in Instagram’s case) HOURS of scrolling to be able to unfollow all the accounts I wasn’t interested into.
During this process, I activated the notifications of the accounts I didn’t want to miss their posts and interaction. I did this so that I could train the algorithm again and have a clearer fed — once it’s at a place I feel comfortable with, I will disable them.
I must clarify I’ve been working half of 2020 on this clean up in a massive and conscious way; it’s not something you can achieve from day to night!
Another thing I found very useful, was to limit my use of the apps to my 5-10 minute break between work sessions. I rarely open them when I receive a notification unless it’s a post from a fellow friend who has a personal project going on, in which case I’m very interested in helping out with the first hour of posting.
I can’t honestly tell you how many people I was following at the beginning of this detox, but I can say for sure I have unfollowed over 500 accounts in the span of 6 months, brands between them. Following them was stimulating the shopaholic in me, making me want things I didn’t need, and part of me thinks I was only following them because once I entered a giveaway (my bad 🤭).
In YouTube’s case, I cleaned up my subscriber feed and removed some channels. I also started using the “Watch later” feature to have content queued up for when I have some winding down time. I can’t believe I never used this feature before! It’s done wonders to my FOMO 😂 (Fear Of Missing Out).
How these changes made me a better content creator
I’ve been thinking about creating content vs consuming content for a while now. I got inspired by a conversation that happened between friends about content creators on YouTube (the ones who have +1 million subs) and how they’re unable to answer to every comment individually as they grow bigger and bigger.
I guess that, at that point, you have to choose between answering every-single-message or using that time for creating more content so that those people messagging you can get more from you.
All of this got me thinking about myself as a content creator.
I found myself complaining more than ever that “my thing just doesn’t work”, but I’d spend more time watching what everybody else was doing and comparing myself to it rather than actually DOING my thing. It’s so easy and comfortable to just stay there, sitting in front of the computer reading post after post, video after video, than planning what you could be doing next month and executing it.
In August this year I moved back to my mother’s and took some time at the beginning to adapt to the fact there was going to be someone else around every time I shot a video or took some photos, and also to try and tip the balance to the creator side.
As usual, we’ll see the results of these changes with time, but I feel different. I know where I’m standing and what I want to do. I’m better organized now and know exactly where I want to go. I am clear about when I make the switch between creator and consumer as well — I could say I spend 70% of my time being a creator and 30% a consumer.
Time shall tell!