Why I stopped listening to my favourite podcasts?

Over the past couple of months I have become more and more aware of all the thoughts and opinions of others that I consume each day.

If you also use social media and regularly consume content such as podcasts or YouTube videos then chances are, you’ve felt it too.

I had began to find that even though podcasts, Twitter and Instagram were a regularly part of my routine, I wasn’t really enjoying them the way I used to.

And this had nothing to do with the people I was following or listening to as their content hadn’t really changed. It was more that I had changed. I decided that, even if it was just a temporary thing, I wanted to honour the fact that at that point in time, I wanted something different.

So, I logged out of my social media accounts and I stopped listening to the podcasts that were once my favourites. That gave me room to explore new things and spend time listening to podcasts that I enjoy rather than simply listening out of habit or familiarity.

Entertaining and addictive

The thing about social media is that it’s great when you’re on it. It’s entertaining, it’s addictive.

It’s so much of those things that I find myself thinking, I’ll feel like I’m missing out if I take a break.

When you’re logged into social media it can feel like you need to check it 20 times a day. Even though you know there is nothing there that you need to see, the apps are designed in a way to keep you coming back.

And so you check the app again and again even if you don’t really have a reason to.

Checking social media multiple times a day means you’re constantly taking in other peoples stuff. It could be a useful infographic, educational twitter thread or a new recipe to try on IGTV. However, it could also be celebrity gossip, peoples thoughts on relationships or people making fun of someone.

That’s why I think logging out is so important. It allows you to disconnect from distractions and might even remind you that you don’t it as much as you think you do.

That probably won’t mean quitting all social media for good but instead simply using it less.

Reasons to log out

Every so often I log out of social media.

I do it to remind myself that I don’t need to use it as much as I think I do.

I do it to free up space in my mind for my own thoughts and opinions.

I do it so that I can spend my free time doing other things that will be more fulfilling.

And when sometime passes and I choose to log back in, I am always reminded that if I’m not mindful I can end up wasting a lot of time and energy.

Instagram ads

Instagram is full of ads that often don’t seem like the ads we’re used to seeing in traditional media. In between the nature photography and selfies there are photos of products and even more products.

It’s at a point where we almost forget that we’re constantly being shown things to buy.

It’s the same way tv ads worked but it’s much cheaper and many of us even do it for free.

The problem with being attached to where you share your work

On one hand you could stick with sharing your work on a blog because that is what you know, are good at and are familiar with. There is a big difference between being closed off to new things and knowing what works for you.

If you’ve been doing it for years, chances are you’ve grown attached. The problem with getting attached is that this can end up clouding your judgement. Instead of migrating or expanding to a new platform, you end up choosing to stick with what you know. You end up doing this even when you know the current way is not working and there are better options out there.

An example of this could be YouTube. If you’ve been doing YouTube for a while and it isn’t going particularly well it probably won’t hurt to give Tik Tok a go. You don’t need to alter your message because it’s on a different platform. Find a way to share the same message whether on Instagram, YouTube, a podcast, or on Tik Tok etc.

Conscious consumption

Over the past few weeks or months, there has been an increase in posts related to social media. In particular, I have been writing about Instagram more.

Aside from the fact that I find it interesting, I also find that writing about social media enables me to consume it a little more consciously.

Instagram has become such a prominent part of many of our daily lives, at times it can become a little excessive.

Writing about Instagram (or just social media in general) means I’m much more reflective when it comes to what I use it for and how I feel about it. But I’m also developing more of an interest in what it can be used for and how it is changing.

All of this combined has changed my thoughts on social media and made me want to use it much more intentionally but also use it a little bit less.

What’s the use in blogging?

Over the past few years with the way that the online world is changing, people are regularly asking whether there is any use in still blogging.

There is no set answer, it just depends on what works for you.

If your blog is used to advertise and sell you might find other platforms more advantageous. But if you used your blog to simply just write, I don’t think any other social media platform can quite compete.

It also depends on what you prefer. Some people see a blog as the main focus whilst everything else is supplementary. For others the focus is what is most popular and right now that is Instagram.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

It doesn’t matter where you share your work

When it comes to being someone who is creative, puts stuff out there and has ideas to share there is one piece of advice I’ve heard from two people that will never grow old.

It is something worth remembering as things change and develop over time.

The advice is to not become attached to the platforms where you share your work but to use them to your advantage in a way that works for you. Instead your focus should be on the work, the idea or the message.

When you do this, it doesn’t matter where you share your work. It could be on IGTV, pictures and captions on your Instagram feed, Insta stories, IG reels, a podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, a newsletter, Facebook, or even snapchat.

And when a platform changes or becomes obsolete you can seamlessly shift to something else.

Airplane mode

If you find that your screen time is increasing and has gotten to a point of being much higher than you’d like, put your phone on airplane mode.

Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend a world when we were much less connected because at any time someone can contact you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, call, text or Whatsapp. That’s 7 different ways all from a single device and that can be overwhelming.

As much as it can have benefits, it’s also worth considering that you don’t always need to be so available. One could argue that you may miss something important but it’s highly unlikely.

The point is not to put your phone on airplane mode and be eternally unavailable. The idea is to turn it on when you’re not using your phone, that way when you randomly pick it up to mindlessly scroll you’ll end up just putting it down again as you’re not connected to the internet.

It’ll also make you aware of how often you reach for your phone for no real reason and after a short while you end up reaching for it less.