It doesn’t take any talent to have a voice these days thanks to the internet. Gone are the days of needing multiple degrees or exceptional work ethic or social connections in order to garner a large audience. For just a few dollars a month you can have your own website, such as the highly influential and eternally consequential http://www.passingtheology.com 🙂
With the prominence of media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the sheer volume of content we consume on a daily basis has easily increased exponentially compared to yesteryear. Do you ever stop and ask yourself what is the value of the content you’re consuming? Perhaps you might even ask what is the consequence of consuming so much information? Lord knows we aren’t all marathon readers, and therefore the majority of the information we consume is bite-sized. I believe therein lies the problem. Snippets of other’s reality are being pieced together to fabricate an online identity. Digitized shower thoughts, complaints, recipes and viral memes.
It seems to me most social media content is lacking a qualitative substance. When I read something I want to come away consciously aware that I’ve gained something. I want a voluntary exchange to take place. My time for their influence. I want a new insight, a new recipe, a new friend, a new plan, a new method, etc. It’s for this reason that I try my best to filter out all information that I call mindless posting (most of facebook). Instead, I seek to give my time and attention to the writers who stop and think before they post. The writers who reflect, revise and revisit their writings.
We ought to gravitate away from smaller, mindless posts that clog our Newsfeed and toward more substantial content.
You’ll actually read far less and receive far more benefit. It’s kind of like starting a diet. You used to eat 3,000 calories a day but it was mostly garbage, empty of nutrients and the ability to satisfy. Now you eat 1,800 calories a day, but when you eat you actually have to think through what you’re eating. You have to plan and prep and cook. You take time to reflect on what’s going into your body and how it affects your mood and performance. In the end, you drop the weight and gain your life back.
Spend a few minutes of your free time each day consuming a higher quality content instead of mindlessly scrolling through hours of mundane social media. This will help you drop that digital weight and build up a few pounds of new mental muscle. That’s my theory.
Might I recommend a great starting place? Tim Challies has a great blog, and the post I linked you to is a wonderful reflective read on the cost of social media. The Gospel Coalition is also a great place to read more intentionally and diversely.
Ps. None of this applies if you spend your days watching cat videos, because that’s OK.