Why I Ditched Elite Daily and Thought Catalog

November 13, 2015

I know, I know. That’s one lengthy title. But read on (if you dare) and try to understand why.

I used to read a lot of articles. You can’t blame me for that – I started to develop a love for reading since I was young and when I already became aware of how love and pain felt, I became a sucker for words. So when I started using the internet, aside from making my own personal, online diary (aka my own definition of a blog before) and wallowing on Friendster, Neopets, and other social media sites as years passed by, I drowned myself in all the articles I could possibly find no matter how diverse they were. From “10 Signs You Are An Introvert,” to “The Letter to The One That Got Away.” From “10 Things You Need To Remember To Be Successful,” to “25 Things You Need To Do Before You Turn 20.” I shamelessly shared all those articles from Elite Daily and Thought Catalog, to name two, a few years back. I’ve stumbled through more websites and shared them across various platforms already but most of the ones I did were from the two aforementioned. I quoted lines and even paragraphs from the articles I read. I posted screenshots on Facebook and Twitter. Because I felt that what I read were but mere projections of all that I felt. And then last year, a few weeks after I started working, I realized I should ditch them both and all other sites with similar content.

Before I elaborate and continue to try to explain why (in great lengths, if possible), I want to clarify that I don’t have anything against both Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, and all other websites that have the same kind of articles or posts being published. No, I won’t judge you if I see you sharing an article or two in my feed. No, I’m not telling you to stop reading them. No, I’m not writing this to start a movement for them to shut down their sites. But no, I won’t click on them anymore.

I ditched them both because of one main reason: I have to stop letting other people dictate how I should feel and what I should do with my life. As a person starting to figure out her life (last year), it didn’t help me at all, you know, reading through articles that made me feel less of myself or what I’ve achieved. Either that, or I just started questioning a lot of things based on their title, without even reading them. I think this does not confine blog posts or articles only. This even applies to social media in general. You see a friend of yours uploading photos on Instagram of how she’s living her life, or see your favorite blogger/actress living the life you always wanted that you tend to belittle yourself. So you buy whatever they have with nothing to put on your savings account even though it’s not really necessary (yes, sometimes, without even them directly telling you to do so) or do, wear, and try whatever they have on. Tell me you never felt those things (even once) while reading these articles and you can already stop reading here, ditch my blog, and never come back.

Below are sample titles (I’m emphasizing sample because just in case it coincides with an actual article, I didn’t really mean it to) and the questions that my 2014 self started asking.

  • 10 Signs Your Man Truly Loves You – So if he only gets 2/10, he really doesn’t love me?
  • 15 Proofs That Being In A Relationship Is Better Than Being Single – So people who are single are considered failures in life because they don’t have partners?
  • Why Every Woman After Me Will Be Haunted By Our Memories – Why can’t you just be happy for the other person after all you’ve been through?
  • 25 Things You Should Have By 25 – So if I don’t have any of the things on the list, I’m a miserable piece of crap?
  • You Should Visit These 25 Cities ALONE – What if I want to travel with my family? Or my friends?

Do you see my point? I noticed that articles such as the ones I previously mentioned usually use the words “should, must, ought and the phrase “you have to,” as if implying that it’s required and that you become less of a person if you weren’t able to do all those things. We all have different ways of having fun or getting through our days, weeks, months, or days. Why let someone else’s experiences mold yours? For one, we live across different countries, with different beliefs and different cultures, so I don’t know why there has to be a rule book for every 20, 30, 40 something living in this world.

You might say, “Whatever, if you don’t want to read them, then just shut up rather than write a blog post about it.” Well you see, I could have done that, but I just want to share my thoughts and shed some light on others.

  1. I get it. It worked for you (to anyone who wrote something on this line). But are you even 100% sure that it’s going to work out for me the same way? I live a life different than yours. My family, friends, beliefs, work, lifestyle, and all other factors that make me me are, too.
  2. You can all travel to wherever you like, do whatever you want to do, and write viral posts about it. But no, I won’t follow everything in your rulebook just because I “need to,” or just because everyone else is sharing it and doing it. I’m starting to do things, taking interest on hobbies, developing love for art, because I suddenly got interested in it. Not because anybody told me I should.
  3. I came to realize that most of the articles glorified love too much like it’s the only thing that matters. I understand going through a heartbreak and trying to scour the internet for how to get over a break-up. But love, love is not the only thing that matters. Being in a relationship, a mature one, does not only require affection, but trust, time, and effort, that mere articles or words can never actually satisfy. I realized that instead of lurking around the internet to find something to “help me get through” or maybe “worsen the pain altogether,” that time can be used to instead make myself busy and improve myself. Make myself better. Believe me, I know how it feels. And as I matured, I realized that being overly attached to emotions can lead you in a path so bleak: you crave for sad songs, you yearn for lonely words, you stop trying to trust someone, and altogether, you start losing the trust you have for yourself.

I think this is one of the main reasons why a lot of people are sad. The internet, as much as it is helpful, also toy with a person’s emotion. It sets standards that does not formally exist. It makes people feel underachieved. I know, you’re going to tell me that it actually depends on us how we like to perceive and be perceived, but not all people are emotionally stable enough to look on the bright side rather than the dark one.

Did I go too hard with what I stated above? It all goes down to preference, I guess. I decided that I’m going to define my own way on how I’m going to live my life and my how-tos will be based on what God tells me through His Word or what my experiences have taught me. I’m not going to let other people dictate what I should do just because I’m approaching my mid-20s. I’m not going to rate my life based on someone else’s standards. I’m not going to start doing something just because a lot of other people are doing it. Ever since my “articles-under-the-categories-of-musts-and-shoulds” cleanse abstinence, it really proved to me that I can be my own person. I can be genuinely happy without having to worry if I’m living my life the way a 23-year old is supposed to based on others. I won’t go on and overglorify love and heartache when I have other more important matters to think about. I don’t want to tell other people what they should or not do. Because at the end of the day, I can’t really blame anyone else if I end up miserable trying to conform with whatever the world dictates. Besides, who else made the choice to listen but me, right?

I have no regrets. I am definitely happier.

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  • Reply Elle Strange November 13, 2015 at 5:14 am

    I feel you. I mean, I was thinking the same way. It’s repetitive and it’s getting tiring. I feel like if blogging comes to this, then maybe I am on a different path. Yes, I also post titles with SHOULD or the words alike but the difference of my posts than theirs is that I am on the warmer side, like it’s for the title’s sake but the content is only suggestive in a way that the reader would say “Oh, maybe I can do this.” or something. I am not defending myself or what because this is what I also think, but what I also think is that, their articles are made like that because people would definitely click an article or a link with that title. I recently found out about a certain website where they generate a blog post title for you (it’s just recently, and I did not make my blog posts such as I stated above because of this), explaining how a title like that would attract readers, and there’s WHY YOU SHOULD, WHY YOU SHOULD NOT or the likes because people would likely be interested on articles with titles like that.

    I mean, as a person who blogs, I know how posts these days becomes really commercial. I also understand their part. They generate blog posts and titles like that because people or the consumers falls for them. Let’s admit it, we did too. They needed traffic. I am not saying we’re more intellectual than other people for realizing that articles such that should not tell us what to do, but we really can’t tell them not to.

    Lol. I don’t even know if I still make sense. All I’m saying is that, I enjoyed Thought Catalog when I stumbled upon it couple of months ago, and I also admit that articles with such titles appealed to me at first. But then I got more interested in the compilation ones with other people’s experiences and all until I don’t know, I lost interest. When I read this, it became clear to me that yeah, deep inside I got tired with articles like these because I do what I want and I shouldn’t do something or not do something based on an article I read online. But then, I don’t condone other people who does actually read this and kind of base some of their decision in this. We have our own preferences and I guess, as long as no one’s harm, we should just not take it against them. 🙂

    • Reply Rej Relova November 13, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Thank you for understanding, Elle! Yeah, as I said in my conclusion, it all boils down to preference. People can even decided to read this or not. But glad that I’m not alone. 🙂 Also, thank you for sharing your insight. Much appreciated. 🙂

  • Reply Eugene November 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I was about to make the same exact post. I just dont understand how and why are they able to quantify and conclude that theirs is a good idea and expect people to follow/do the same and expect the same results.

  • Reply Dani November 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Love this! I used to read Thought Catalog and Elite Daily…until the article “Date A Girl Who Reads”. It was followed by a thousand other versions but it all seemed to be written by one overly emotional person. My problem with that trend in particular is that it wasn’t very honest or accurate. I mean, let’s face it, all they were really saying is “Date Me”. Lol.

    I guess sites like these became the online institutions that they are because of the human need to relate. We all want to be comforted with the idea that we’re not the only ones going through sad stuff. And it’s fine until you realize that none of it actually helps to get you to a better place.

    • Reply Rej Relova November 13, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      I actually made an article entitled “Love a Girl Who Writes” 3 years ago! A proof of how engrossed I was with articles like that! Hahaha.

  • Reply Mikyu Maglasang November 13, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I definitely agree with your points, Rej! I used to read articles from those sites, too, but I realized some of them don’t make sense anymore. Also, I like your last sentence: “I have no regrets. I am definitely happier.” This is exactly how I felt after I quit social media. 🙂

    • Reply Rej Relova November 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

      I thought I was the only one and it was because I’m just getting older. But yeah, I understand quite frankly what it feels like leaving social media.

  • Reply Diane November 13, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I couldn’t agree more!!! I read their articles but I try not to absorb all the things that they were saying. I only choose what is helpful and what I can project. If I’m not making a rumor here, I believe their relationship articles had already broken many couple’s heart and end up parting ways.

    • Reply Rej Relova November 16, 2015 at 10:06 am

      YES INDEED. I know of a few people who depended on these articles too much that they set standards to their relationships. It ended in a breakup.

  • Reply Hazel Asoy November 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I love reading Thought Catalog’s articles whenever I feel emotionally down and sad. Reading the words that the author uses in a specific article helps me in releasing the thoughts that I can’t utter. But, lately, I noticed that there are some articles that resembles the others which loses the essence of genuineness.
    This ” I have to stop letting other people dictate how I should feel and what I should do with my life.” explains everything! 🙂

  • Reply Jewel Clicks November 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I love these websites. There are some articles that not fit for me and just leave it. There are articles that you can relate that you will share to your friends and make fun of it. It is really up to you if you will go for these kind of articles. but sometimes it helps you realized some things in life. You are not alone in this type of situation and etc.

    my friend’s joke with that is ” ayan, nagbasa ng elitedaily ayun, nagbooked ng ticket at nagtravel mag-isa” hahahaha!


  • Reply Lyka Mea November 14, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I feel the same way. I used to read Thought Catalog and Elite Daily too and because I related so well with the articles posted, I thought that the written words were real. Anyway, I’m so happy for you for taking control of your emotions and your life rather than depending on social media to provide for you.

  • Reply Bing November 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Case taken, point gone across, I salute you.
    What an awesome post from a young woman like you, xoxo Bing.


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  • Reply Alissa November 17, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I stopped reading this too. It depends on the topic but if it’s something like you listed above, reading it will just make me feel inadequate and that’s not a good feeling.

  • Reply Jae November 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Reading TC was fun while it lasted. I stopped following their site a long time ago (I used to when I was still blogging with WordPress), and I haven’t looked back since. 😛

    • Reply Jae November 18, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      P.S. I ditched them for the same reason as yours. Haha!

  • Reply Yza November 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I also copy your views on this. I stopped reading them a long time ago because those articles end up making me feel insignificant. To each her own. I do not like feeling inadequate and that I do not have my life the way it should be.

  • Reply Chris Ludovice December 12, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Some of their really helps actually. Yes, it’s really lies to us on what to believe…at the end of the day, it’s still our choice that matters.

  • Reply Chris Ludovice December 12, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Some of their posts really help actually. Yes, it really lies to us on what to believe…at the end of the day, it’s still our choice that matters.

  • Reply Ae Llantada September 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    I really understand why you felt this way. Most TC pieces say like they “require” you to “do certain things” so you “can be like this”. But Thought Catalog for me is helpful. Everytime I open a piece I always consider that they are from a different culture and that what works for them may not work for me. What I like about TC is that it’s sounds so introspective, and the pieces could give a few good suggestions 🙂 Thanks for this post! It made me think about my preferences, too.

  • Reply carmen December 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Although I am reading this a few years later, I must say I do agree with you completely.
    I do love Thought Catalog but I always read it with a pinch of salt.
    To be honest, I find instagram and facebook a place where there’s this constant pressure of living up your life because everyone just seems to be a good time.

    I do use instagram and facebook but I have to constantly remind myself that I am on my own path and journey.
    And that just because I don’t seem to be having a great time every second doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I just have to accept that this is part of the journey.
    I am on the journey to better myself.

    I am still figuring out what I want and how I want to live my life.
    Sometimes, I must admit social media do get to me. I do look around and go, why aren’t I living the glamourous life?
    And that’s when I have to remind myself that it’s okay. That this is my life and it’s okay. I’m okay. What matters is I’m making my own decisions.

    So yea. I do agree with you completely.
    And yes, we shouldn’t follow people’s list or ideas of how we should live our life. We should definitely listen to ourselves.

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