We hear enough bad things about social media, we don’t really need any more, do we? After all, what’s the harm in scrolling for a bit and catching up on what your friends have been up to?
Well, while the advantages and disadvantages of that may be debatable, one thing is not: we are spending an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes on the most popular social media platforms every day, a number which will come as a shock to some.
It doesn’t seem that much when you’re clicking away, but you’ll come to feel that wasted time when the day comes to an end and you have no idea where all those hours went. Let’s think about how you can use that time more productively.
1. Take Your Dog For a Walk: Isn’t it better to take some fresh air, instead of sitting inside, staring into the tiny screen of your phone? Two and a half hours is plenty of time to go for a very, very long walk or even drive out to a large park.
Bonus points if you have a pet that could use the exercise, or perhaps a little one that wouldn’t mind socializing at a playgroup, playing with doggies at the park, or just exploring the great outdoors. There are almost endless possibilities out there with two hours to spare.
2. Clean your Microwave: Okay, so maybe this one isn’t the most entertaining activity in the world, but it’s more productive and less mind-numbing than scrolling through Facebook. Doing chores instead of being on social media doesn’t seem like that good of a trade-off, but be honest – when is the last time you cleaned your microwave?
Or your oven, for that matter? Does your backsplash ever get scrubbed? This is an excellent time to do all those annoying little chores you always say you have no time to do. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in two hours.
3. Read a Book: Not to be preachy, here, but when’s the last time you cracked a book open? We are all constantly complaining and excusing ourselves that we just don’t have time, but it turns out that we can all scrounge up a couple of hours. Who knew?
So, this is the perfect opportunity to trade in a bad habit for a good one; instead of spending that time stalking your ex’s new lover, why not catch up on some reading and get back into it? It may become your new favorite thing. And if you miss screens, don’t worry – they make e-readers now, so you don’t even have to carry a heavy book around.
4. Plan your Week/Month Out: We all wish we were a little more organized, right? Everyone secretly wishes they were that super-organized and put-together person who wakes up at 5 am and tackles their to-do list in a burst of productivity, then sits down and plans out the next day before they go to bed.
Well, who says you can’t be that person? You’ve just gained a lot of time, so use it wisely. It doesn’t take that long to sit down and make a list for the next day, week, or month. Think about all your appointments, errands, personal goals, and other things you want to achieve, in what timeframe, etc. You actually have the time to make sure you’re not a frazzled, disorganized mess.
5. Call a Friend to Chat: Okay, but social media has a big social component, right? Supposedly, you’re socializing or catching up with friends. But isn’t there a better way to do that than a fugitive and superficial Like? Oh yeah – you could actually pick up the phone and call them for a nice chat.
Talking directly to a person is so much better and more comprehensive than silly platitudes online in social media comments. You’ve got more than enough time to catch up with your friends and call your mom to tell her you love her. There’s really no excuse not to.
6. Go Out for Coffee: Why be stuck inside, chained to your phone, when you can go out and see the world? You don’t even need to venture any farther than your local coffee shop, and hell, you can even scroll through social media there, nobody is stopping you.
But it’s so much healthier to break out of your routine and do something active (even if that’s not going to the gym) and interactive. Plus, there’s coffee, and you can people-watch in real life, instead of online.
7. Watch a Movie/Play a Video Game: If entertainment is what you’re missing, think about that chunk of time and what you could be doing, instead. You can watch a full (long!) movie, 2 to 3 episodes of a TV show you love, or play your favorite video game.
You can even rope your friends in and convince them to join you in your daily dose of entertainment. You shoot two birds with one stone – you get the social aspect and the entertainment.
8. Cook or Bake Something Delicious: You know how you always say that you’d love to be able to cook more, but you just don’t have the time? Well, now you can. Whether cooking is your thing, or you’ve always wanted to learn to bake, that’s an excellent use of your time. The internet offers you plenty of super quick recipes.
Not only are you learning and perfecting a useful skill, but you also end up with something delicious at the end, so it’s always time well spent. Well, unless you burn it, but even that is an opportunity for learning.
9. Sort Through your Wardrobe: Clearing out your wardrobe is inevitably one of those chores that everyone starts and then they run out of steam (or out of time) halfway through and they’re left with piles of clothes everywhere.
Thankfully, you’ve got time to sort out the mess, and you don’t even need to do it in one go. Even dedicating 10 minutes to this task every day will ensure that you’ll be done with it by the end of the week.
10. Go for a Run or Exercise: Come on, you knew this one was coming – gaining some extra time is the ideal reason to get off your butt and start a daily exercise routine. A quick run around the block is an excellent start, or you can just pop on a YouTube exercise video and do it in the comfort of your own home.
Alternatively, a gym membership is always a great motivator, because you’ll want to get your money’s worth out of that expensive membership.
Final Thoughts: In a society where we’re all constantly complaining that we don’t have enough time, it turns out that we do; we’re just mismanaging it. Social media is a big time-suck, when you think about it, and there’s so much more you can do with your time, instead.
These are just 10 things you can do instead of spending time on social media, but anything that feels fulfilling and doesn’t involve you staring into a screen is a step up.