Bad Content Blocks Out Good Content

Bad Content Blocks Out Good Content

I shared a room with a friend I met on the bus last month. One day, we’re sitting there and I’m watching a video about some new Internet marketing strategy. The presenter is about to explain his new strategy when my friends’ phone erupts in noise.


Some woman is shouting at some man. “You did this! Blah blah blah.” He shouts back. This continues.


It’s standard Internet click-bait.


The video ends and his phone returns to silent.


“… And that’s how I doubled my sales in 4 weeks.” Finishes the presenter on my computer.


Whaa? I missed it! My eyes had never left my computer screen, but while he was explaining his strategy my ears only heard that angry click-bait couple. Luckily I could go back and replay this section of the video, this time with headphones on.


This experience reminded me that bad content blocks out good content. Bad content is more entertaining, loud, emotional and fast-paced. It pulls in your attention whereas good content usually requires you to actively focus and take notes. Bad content so much more entertaining that it’s addicting.


It’s easier to choose bad content over good content, but please remember that this isn’t a ‘neutral’ decision. Whether you choose the TV or even just music on the radio, you’re giving up your limited time and focus.


You’re missing something important, even if you don’t know what it is.


If you enjoy wasting time with useless content, I will say ‘bad’ content because it’s not just neutral, it’s detrimental, here are some things to try today.


1. Ask Yourself “What IS Useful Content For Me?


First, clarify which good content you’re missing out on. Maybe you haven’t thought about it much.


If you’re running an e-commerce business like me, looking for new marketing strategies is a good idea. If you sell on Amazon, I still highly recommend The Amazing Seller Podcast.


No matter your profession or job, whether you’re a lawyer, firefighter, veterinarian, or anything else, there is content for you.


If you’re a non-native English speaker, you can start learning English with free content on YouTube.


If you want to get healthy, there’s content to explain how to eat better and begin working out. (Note: You don’t need Garcinia Cambogia)


What are your goals? Search for content that explains how to solve your problems and reach those goals.


“Podcast to help with X” “YouTube channel for X people”


For now, you don’t need to listen to hours of content. Just find it, listen to a few snippets to  make sure it’s useful fo you, and then bookmark the page or download a few podcasts. Now you know what you’re missing.


2. The Next Day, When You’re Listening To Useless Content


You’ll be reminded that there is something better out there to listen to. Is this electro-house worth it? Are you missing the big picture conversations going on in your industry? Is this music keeping you from learning English or Chinese? (Note: I believe we all should probably be learning a little Chinese)


Wouldn’t that be better than bobbing to the beat like you normally do on your commute?


3. Slowly Replace This Useless Content


I know you’re hooked on your useless content. Songs are composed to be catchy, the news is purposefully horrific and TV is produced to keep you coming back for the whole season.


Just swap out one thing. Instead of the usual music or daily news, turn on one podcast about your profession, one industry leader fireside chat, one educational YouTube video or one chapter in one audiobook.


You don’t need to cut out useless content all together. It’s difficult to quit cold-turkey, and sometimes a friend will drag me to a theatre and I’m always glad when they do. It’s fun to watch Iron Man cut through 500 robot soldiers in super HD slow-mo!


The key is to keep it in moderation, just like wine or fatty foods. The majority of the liquids you drink should be non-alcoholic and the majority of the foods you eat should be healthy.


Similarly, a little useless content is probably fine, but the majority of the stuff you put in your brain should be good for your mental development, not mental junk food.