‘You are what you eat’. It’s a simple enough concept, that what you consume changes you. But what happens if we apply ‘conscious consumption’ to a digital context? What would an audit of my online diet reveal?
Put another way: If I were the direct sum of the content I consume, what kind of person would I be?
I am a Gen-Zer. I was born post-2000, I’ve never not known Google, and I can answer all your Instagram queries. If I’m honest, I consume lots of content with little value for no good reason other than its accessibility. If I were the direct sum of my digital consumption, I’d be an assemblage of lifestyle advice and skin-deep celebrity drama. Eek!
It’s an uncomfortable exercise: I’m much more willing to list any brainy books I’ve read than I am to face my shameful screen time reports.
But does my digital consumption define my character? Jesus said, “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”
Jesus seems to contradict the idea that you are what you eat. Strictly speaking, he was referring to religious food rituals rather than consumption of content – but I think his words speak to our digital diets too. It’s what we retain in our hearts and recycle in our character that may harm us.
Perhaps I am not precisely what I eat – but it’s hard to doubt that “eating healthy” can only do good, whether we’re talking physical or digital consumption.
Just some food for thought.