As someone who loves to learn about anything and everything, I try to absorb all of the information I can from the content I consume. But these days, anyone can share their opinion and insight on a topic – especially with blogs and social media – and I’ve noticed that so much of it simply isn’t quality content.
Have you ever been reading a blog post and thought, ‘This is such basic information, I could have written this?’
Of course, there are so many incredible resources out there with genuinely interesting and/or useful content, but I’ve realized that it’s important to be really selective about what you consume in this digital age.
In case you forgot, you don’t actually have to read every blog post you come across.
You aren’t obligated to follow someone just because they seem to be popular within your industry. You don’t have to read that book that doesn’t seem interesting even though your friend recommended it. This feeling that we need to consume everything we come across strongly corresponds with FOMO, or the fear of missing out.
We’re afraid that we might miss out on learning some potentially life-changing information.
This happens to me frequently, especially with anything related to blog advice. I have hundreds of these types of posts saved in my bookmarks to read later because I feel like I need to read them all. Why? Does it mean I’m a bad blogger if I don’t read every single blogging advice article? I surely hope not.
Rachel Gadiel once said something that’s always stuck with me: “Less Consumption, More Creation.“
In order to focus on your own ideas and allow your brain to rest from all of the information being thrown around, it’s important to take a break and stop consuming for a moment.
Related Post: How To Unplug From The World When You Need A Break
The 7-Day Media Detox Challenge
To help you with the process of consuming less, I’ve put together a 7-Day Media Detox with actionable steps and a free printable. If you want to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ you consume without having to go completely cold turkey, this is for you.
You’ll increase the amount of time you have to spend doing things you truly want to accomplish, rather than getting distracted by other people’s ideas.
There are a few steps to follow before we get into the detox:
STEP 1 – Where do you get info?
Identify the platforms where you usually get information from and write them down. Here are some examples:
- Social media
- News sites
STEP 2 – Get rid of the noise
In each category where you get information, start unsubscribing, unfollowing, and unbookmarking. You only want to be left with your absolute favorites.
- Unfollow updates annoying people you don’t want to unfriend on Facebook.
- Mute people you don’t want to unfollow on Twitter and Instagram
- Turn off social media and news notifications on your phone.
Related Post: 5 Ways To Have A Healthier Relationship With Social Media
STEP 3 – Create a System
Here’s the most important thing to remember: you do not have to read or watch everything you come across. You will not be missing out. Be selective about what you consume and ask yourself, Is this going to help me?
Instead of reacting right away as soon as you see something click-worthy….just pause. Sort it away for later and focus on what you should be doing instead of getting distracted.
Here’s what you can do to avoid clicking right away:
Blog posts/articles. Use Pocket to save articles and read them later. You can also get the app for your phone so if you see something worth reading, you can easily save it to the app. Alternatively, you can email the link to yourself and read it later.
Pinterest. If you see something you want to check out, save it to a private board of things to look at later.
Instagram. If something catches your eye, take a screenshot and email it to yourself.
Youtube. Use the Watch Later feature.
News. If you’re someone who often reads the news, try asking your friends, family or co-worker for a summary of what’s going on in the world right now. Or try theskimm which emails you a daily summary of the latest news.
Email. If you’re subscribed to newsletters that are genuinely useful, create a folder in your inbox called ‘Read Later’ and store them to read for another time.
Books. If you have a massive list of books you want to read, try using Goodreads to keep track of them.
Instead of trying to eliminate media all together, the media detox is about lessening your consumption day-by-day. Print out the challenge and cross off each day as you complete it!
The idea is to keep following the previous day’s instructions while removing more each day. For example: On Day 4, you would avoid checking media until after lunch AND avoid media after dinner.
Unsubscribe and unfollow using Step 2 from the previous section of this post.
Avoid checking your phone or going on your computer first thing in the morning. Wait until 9 am before going on social media, reading the news or blogs, or listening to podcasts.
Wait until after lunch to check any forms of media. Eat your lunch without doing anything else at the same time (this is something I really struggle with!)
No media/email after dinner. Netflix is okay, but try reading a fictional book or going for a walk instead.
Limit yourself to reading/watching/listening to only 3 links all day. For example, you could read 2 blog posts and watch 1 YouTube video. Challenge yourself to be selective!
Go all day with only one tab open on your computer at a time. It’s tricky, but possible! I actually did this for one of my monthly goals.
Go media-free all day. Work on that project you’ve been wanting to do for a while, read a book, or try a new recipe.
Related Post: Digital Detox: What I’ve Learned From Unplugging Once A Week
I hope you find this challenge really helpful and get to spend some quality time doing the things you enjoy.
I spend too much time on social media and I don’t even know what I’m doing?? Great post!
Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination
Btw check out my sweet Lightbox Giveaway if you haven’t already!
Social media is like a huge time-suck haha! Glad you liked the challenge, Tegan!
This is revolutionary!!! I’ve definitely been feeling a little bogged down by my Bloglovin’ feed recently. Beauty and fashion blogs were many of the first blogs I followed, mostly because they’re so popular, so it was a place for me to start. And I enjoyed it too! Those outfits omg. But nowadays I find myself just going through a quick scroll and then searching the captions for something to reply to so that I can leave a comment and show the blogger that I support them. I’m no longer doing it for inspiration or even delight. I don’t know how to use makeup, and at the moment it’s not a priority to learn how to, and my budget won’t allow for me to spend money on those clothes, or I’d much rather spend my money on something else. There’s nothing that I really take away from these blog posts. Just my own time I guess. This post could not have come at a more perfect time. And now I’m going to contradict myself and say that I will be holding off this detox challenge until a little later. Right now I’m trying to catch up on writing blog posts before I’m headed back to school. After I get that sorted, I’m going to hop on this! Thank you! PS: love the new design -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
I totally know what you mean! I started out loving makeup tutorials on YouTube, but now I feel like they just make me want to buy more things and they’re no longer helpful to me! I’m all about blogs that are genuinely useful and write to help others, not just about themselves. Catching up on writing blog posts is definitely a good use of your time, but glad you’re going to give this a try after! xx
Catherine, I will probably say this to you again but: You. Are. Brilliant. I love “Less consumption, more creation”, and that we don’t have to read every single blog post. I’ve cut down my blog reading list significantly in the past year and try to follow less people on social media (minimizing the ‘following’ lists). I’ve been trying this year to go on a ‘digital detox’ by setting goals and have failed so many times. I am so participating in this, this is freaking fantastic :) Thanks Catherine!
PS. I am digging the new layout!!!
Hahaha thank you, my dear! I know we’re always on the same wavelength. It’s difficult when you’re a blogger and want to reach more people so you feel like you need to read every single blog post and comment on it, but then you could be using that time to work on your own awesome content instead. So glad you’re going to participate in this!
Hey Catherine, great post and so true and important!
Eating lunch and doing nothing elese is also the hardest thing I’m struggling with, in addition with the ‘only one tab open’ every day challenge. But I become more and more better! :)
So, thank you for this reminder! :)
I love this! I’m definitely joining in, starting tomorrow :) I have a feeling Day 5 and Day 6 are going to be the hardest for me since I looove opening tabs ;) Thanks for sharing this!
Aww yay I’m so glad you’ll be trying it, Brittany! Hope you get through it and feel a little less overwhelmed at the end xx
I LOVE this Catherine! I am totally going to do this (I’ll let you know when). Can’t wait to share :) xo
Ahh yes, I’m so glad to hear that!! xx
I’ve done the one tab challenge before and while it definitely help me focus on doing one thing at a time, I also found it just frustrating. I do totally agree that making a routine is key. Awesome (and feasible!) tips!
Haha yeah I think two or three tabs is probably a better long-term solution. Sometimes you really do need more than one open at a time to get anything done! Glad you liked the tips, Pia! xx
I love your article, Catherine! Very well written article. Keep on posting!
I usually go for Vipassana every year,. That’s the best detox I have ever discovered. Something I would recommend you to try Catherine.
7 days without social media
Putting social media on pause for a week sounds easy. I’ve never felt that I couldn’t live without social media. However, after almost an entire week off of social media. I’ve definitely learned quite a bit about just how difficult it can be to completely disconnect from social media for 7 days.
6 years of almost continuous use means that social media have worked their way into various aspects of my life. Social media are not just personal or professional…the entire digital engagement space is a melange of content, connection and creativity.
I didn’t miss INSTAGRAM at all. But , I did miss knowing what my friends and family were up to INSTAGRAM. has become the dominant channel for all things related to my personal life. While I am connected to some work-related groups, most of my INSTAGRAM activity revolves around friends and family. I wondered what was happening.
During the week, I had a lot more time. that I used to read books, learn new things,
I must admit that a week without social media wasn’t easy. It’s doable for sure. When social media is connected to your work, it’s a challenge to simply turn it off. I think the main thing that I’ve learned via this week of being off of social media was that like most things, it’s about balance. Too much phone time isn’t a good thing.