Health & Well Being

Episode #338 – Feeding Your Mind: How Your Content Diet Could Be Affecting You

April 16, 2024

I’m Cherylanne.
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Are you ready to hit refresh on your content consumption habits? In today’s episode, Cherylanne reveals how the media we absorb daily could silently shape our mood and productivity.

Discover the secrets to curating a nourishing content diet that infuses your life with joy, gratitude, and growth. Say goodbye to the clutter of the online world and hello to intentional, high-quality consumption.

It’s time to take the reins on your mental well-being—because you deserve to have an information diet that truly serves you.

Show Highlights:

  • Find out how your information intake affects you. 02:14
  • Are you keeping a record of what you are consuming digitally? 06:04
  • Do you find yourself mindlessly snacking on short-form content? 07:30
  • How your digital consumption shapes your worldview. 11:14
  • Why controlling our digital consumption is so difficult.  14:22
  • Do you think your content choices are out of your control? 18:27
  • Can you envision a new way to use social media to elevate your life? 22:27
  • How to manage your exposure to triggering topics. 27:44

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So today, my friends, we are going to talk about your content diet, otherwise known as your information diet. I got the inspiration for this particular episode when I was hosting a group coaching call with a number of clients. Near the end of the call, when things had started to slow down, one of the women said, “Hey, I just want to put this idea in front of everyone,” which is to ask the question: “What are you consuming?” She said that she had seen, I think it was like a blog post, like a short little throwaway blog post, had posed the question as something that you could track in your daily planner. What are you actually consuming from a content standpoint? It had asked you to think about things like your podcast that you’re listening to (shocking since you’re listening to one right now, right? Like the rest of us are). What were you reading? What kind of music were you listening to? What kind of news were you taking in? To think about tracking that over time inside of whatever planning tool you use so that you could look at the correlation to, I don’t know, maybe how productive you were.

What your mood was like, what you were working on, or thinking about. It was such a small little prompt. Her question to ask this test was such a small little prompt, but it really got me thinking about the impact of the content that we all consume. Into sort of an information diet and the impact that has on us, fairly broadly. So I want you to think about, you know, if we are what we eat, right? Back in my health coaching days, I thought about that a lot. You know, I remember learning when I was studying nutrition and you know the impact of what we eat on our bodies, learning about cellular turnover and how quickly our entire body is reconstructed regularly, right out of the food that we consume. Like we quite literally are composed at a cellular level of what we eat. But it makes sense that the same thing would be true about our content, right? The content that we’re consuming is like an information diet, and so it shapes us, right? It shapes how we think, it shapes how we feel, and the reality is that we are consuming so much more content than people did at any other point in history. I don’t even know if this term content is like if that’s a term that’s in the vernacular broadly, or if that’s a term that those of us who produce it use, right? If you think about the information, all the blog posts, all of the little snippets, you know, the five-second snippets of headlines, the little quotes that we’re getting in social media, those very short video reels that we’re getting on Instagram if you’re my age, or TikTok if you’re younger, although I understand if you’re all going to email me and tell me that everyone is using TikTok and I know that’s true and I’m just not using TikTok yet, right? So I think all of the short-form content that we’re getting newspapers if you’re still reading, probably an online version of some kind of newspaper to get long-form content. You know, that’s in the mix. But anything that we are taking in and I would even add, you know, television, movies, books that we’re reading fiction or nonfiction like I guess another word for content would just be media, and in the industry, we refer to it as content. Maybe more broadly, people would think of it as media and we’re just consuming so much more information than we did at any other point in human history, and I think because of that, we’re doing a lot of it unconsciously, right? And this really matters. We don’t even know how much we’re taking in. I think there’s a couple of dynamics governing what we’re taking in that are really different in this era than they were at other points in history. One is the sheer quantity is a lot higher. We are simply consuming more content than we ever have before. We’re being asked to digest.

Internalized form of point of view on more content than we’ve ever done before. The second thing that I think is different is how splintered it is. You know, how unique the slice of content that I’m digesting is different than my husband, different than my mom, different than my children, different than you. And so we’re really getting this very curated perspective without realizing that. That’s what’s happening, and I think that matters. I think that matters a lot because there we can be sort of ushered unwittingly into these very narrow silos and almost releasing control of our minds to unnamed sources. So I wanted to talk about this today on the podcast because it’s something that I am paying attention to in my own life, and I’m going to invite you to pay attention to this as well in the coming weeks and months. So I have three sort of prompts for you today. Maybe we could even glom this into two. So. The first thing I want you to do is notice, just notice what you’re taking in. No judgment, right? We’re not trying to make any changes at this point. We’re just trying to raise our collective awareness of what is it that we are giving that we have access to in our minds, right? What are we allowing in kind of through the filter if there’s a filter at all?

What are we choosing to give our time and our attention to in terms of media, in terms of content? And then I want you to think about how that information diet, all of the pieces and parts that you’re letting in, how is it making you feel, right? As a human when the alchemy takes place and it all blends together. How is it making you feel, and I want you to think about the content? This is what I’m thinking about in a variety of ways. I’m thinking about how much short-form content am I consuming versus long-form. And the analogy that came to me when I was thinking about this is it’s sort of like, are you snacking? You know, if you’re thinking about actual literal food or are you having a meal where there’s some substance and some intentionality around what you’re consuming? You know, we all know how it feels if you go through the whole day kind of pick pick at stuff and. You’re not really being very thoughtful about it versus when you are very intentional about sitting down and composing a meal. And I think content works the same way. So are you focused on short-form content? You’re sort of scrolling through a feed. You know, three seconds of this, two seconds of that, a giggle here, you know, maybe a tear rolls down your cheek if something is particularly moving, five seconds here, ten seconds there, that’s what I mean by short form. Um, even to some extent, I subscribe to several. Um.

News roll-ups like they come first thing in the morning, like I get the morning brew, I get the skim, I get New York Times headlines, the initial scan through that I would call short-form content, right? I’m just kind of getting the headline of what’s happening in the world in a really quick efficient way. But what’s behind that if I actually clicked through to an article? That’s what would start to qualify as long-form content.

 So I’m thinking about that. I’m also thinking about the balance between sort of, I would call it serious content versus lighter content. So how much of what I’m taking in is sort of thought-provoking, longer-form serious content versus how much is just kind of fluff? I don’t even mean fluff like in a bad way necessarily like sometimes you just want to watch a sitcom and have a giggle, right? That’s not like super deep content, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it fluff in the sense of being bad. It’s just kind of light, you know, a bit of a palate cleanser, if you will. And then the third thing that I’m thinking about is the source, right? Who is putting this content out into the world? Is this content that’s coming from some big corporate entity? Is this content that’s coming from a person that I know, right? Or somewhere in between? Is it somewhere where there’s a corporation behind it, but there’s a name and a face attached to it, like I could tell you the name of the person who wrote the article in the morning brew this morning? Or is this coming from, you know, an anonymous source? And I don’t know where it’s coming from, and I’m not sure what their intentions are. And I think that matters a lot too because it’s not just what we’re consuming, but who we’re consuming it from and what their motivations are, right? So I think this is really important. I think this is important because I think that we are all, all of us, navigating the world right now, really interesting times to be alive, right? Like none of us have ever been alive in a pandemic before.

So I think it’s a lot. And I think that it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to feel scared. It’s easy to feel uncertain. And I think that paying attention to the content that we’re consuming and making conscious choices about that content can really help mitigate some of those feelings. You know, I can’t control what’s happening in the world around me. I can’t control the decisions that governments are making. I can’t control the decisions that corporations are making. I can’t control a lot of things, but I can control what I allow into my mind and into my heart. And so I want to challenge you to think about that this week, this month, this year, and see if there are any changes that you want to make. So that’s what I’ve got for you this week. Be sure to hit subscribe wherever you’re listening to this. And if you want to join the conversation, we’re having a great time over on Instagram. I’m @doyouknowdanielle. Come and find me. Send me a message. Let me know that you listen to this podcast. I love hearing from you guys. I love seeing where you’re listening from. I love hearing what resonated with you. So come and find me. Let me know that you listened. And until next time, take care of yourselves, take care of each other, and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

And that’s it. So I hope that you found this episode useful and insightful, and I will talk to you next week.

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