What a great step that you’re here reading this post! Good for you to look for things to do instead of social media.
Many of us spend so much time on social media on a daily basis.
Chances are high you look at social media right after you wake up, during breakfast, during your commute, when you’re waiting in line somewhere, during your lunch break, when your computer is being slow again and it takes ages to open something, while walking, during cooking, in the evening when you’re tired of the whole day, before sleeping, right after you wake up, etc.
All these moments throughout the day add up. On average we spend over 2 hours a day on social media.
And we have the audacity to say “I don’t have time” for so many things! While wasting away 10-20 hours a week scrolling on our phones.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate social media. Personally, I enjoy Instagram a lot. But I use it within boundaries. And you should too.
It doesn’t need to consume your life and stop you from meaningful things and you know, living your actual life.
However, scrolling social media is super easy and provides entertainment. So it is our brain’s default to resort to when we have nothing to do.
We have lost the creativity (and brain power) to keep ourselves busy other than reaching for our phone. It is therefore normal not to know what to do instead of social media.
You need to plan things to do instead of social media, so you don’t automatically grab your phone again.
For your inspiration, here is a list of 75+ things to do instead of social media. Some of them keep you busy for a few minutes, some of them the whole day!
Do your hobby or find a new one
What did you do in your free time before social media and smartphones came around? You probably had some hobbies!
It’s time to pick up your old hobbies or find a new one (or more).
Don’t know where to start looking? Or a not so uncommon question: don’t know what you like doing?
For starters, I suggest to look back at what you liked doing as a child.
Perhaps you liked crafting or drawing? Or building things and LEGOs? Puzzles? Reading?
Side note: as a child, I used to make my own ‘magazine’, I called it the ‘Flora Courant’. I’d write articles, design the layout and even create quizzes and contests. My mother would print some copies at her office and I’d distribute it to my ‘subscribers’. When I was stuck in my career a few years ago, I suddenly remembered all this. It led me to pivot my career from wealth management to marketing and blogging – I couldn’t be happier now!
Besides looking back, you can explore some new hobbies of course. There are so many activities out there. Try out anything and see if it sticks. If not, you’ll try something else.
Here are some suggestions:
- Mountain biking or cycling
- Learn to play a musical instrument
- Stitching, knitting or macramé
- Rock climbing or bouldering
- Astronomy and watching stars
- Drawing or painting
- Miniature wargames/Warhammer (got this one from Henry Cavill)
- Puzzling: jigsaws, word puzzles, Sudoku, etc.
- Reading or perhaps even writing yourself
- Mastering chess
- Any sports
I could create a very long list of hobbies (well, I could do that of course as a separate post!), but you get the idea.
Work on your dream or side project(s)
Do you have a dream? Or an idea to set up a business or club? But you think you don’t have time to go for it?
Then I urge you to cut back on social media.
It is way better to spend your time on trying to fulfil your dreams and goals than wasting and scrolling your time away.
What would you advice someone if they tell you they have a certain dream or goal they’d like to accomplish?
You wouldn’t tell them “spend your free time scrolling through social media, looking at other people’s dreams” – right? You’d encourage them to turn that dream into reality!
So why wouldn’t you give yourself that same advice?
I’d love for you to chase your dreams and accomplish any goal you set instead of wasting your precious minutes on social media.
Does your dream require some new skills? Here you can find workshops and masterclasses to help you master those skills:
Improve your relationships
I hope I don’t need to explain to you that spending quality time with friends and loved ones is more valuable than ‘liking’, commenting and texting.
We are social animals; we need human interaction. We feel better – even introverts – when we are making true connections with others.
Even if you are in the presence of people you like, you may not be there 100%. Maybe a notification pops up and distracts you. Or you open social media “for a second” because of FOMO (fear of missing out).
You may even reach for your phone unconsciously. Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the only one. That’s how apps and smartphones have conditioned us to get addicted to those little screens.
But it’s important to be aware of it and lower your time on your phone and social media.
Some ideas to do instead of social media that will help you build better relationships:
- Call someone instead of texting or commenting
- Send someone a handwritten letter or postcard
- Host a movie night at home
- Go out for a lunch or dinner one-on-one or with a group
- If you’re with a group, stack all your phones somewhere. The first one to grab their phone has to pay a ‘fine’ or the full bill
- Have a walk or hike together
- Go picnicking somewhere
- Start a book club or any club for a specific interest
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger. It’s good to hear from people outside of your own bubble. And you may make that person’s day!
Have new or different experiences
It may be challenging to fill up your free time with something else than social media. But I bet there are many new experiences you have never tried before.
Doing something new helps to get you out of a rut, too.
I don’t mean go skydiving (you definitely could, of course) but I mean things you could easily incorporate in your life.
- Try a new recipe for cooking or baking
- Go to a museum
- Visit the library or a bookshop and roam through the books
- Learn a new language. Could be with an app but you can also go old-school with flashcards.
- Create a music playlist. This may sound silly, but when’s the last time you actually did this? This kept me busy for a few hours one day, when I was curating a few playlists for a party, haha.
- Plan a day out or a weekend away. You don’t even have to go far. Perhaps there is a place or neighborhood in your city or area you haven’t explored yet.
- Listen to a (new) podcast
- Meditate, with an online guided meditation or at an actual class
- Go to a cute coffee shop and read a book or magazine. Preferably a local one, so you’re supporting local and small businesses while you’re at it.
- Have an at-home spa moment or day
- Go camping
- Take a power nap, like 15-20 minutes. There are several benefits of a short nap, boosting your memory, creativity and energy level.
- Do a course on something you’d like to learn more about: programming, personal finance, blogging, science – there are digital courses about almost anything.
- Try out a hobby (see list above)
- Get a massage
- Volunteer at a local organization or certain activity
- Make a bucket list
- Simply go for a walk and try to look for something you hadn’t noticed before: a road sign, a flower, someone’s curtains – it could be big or small. This is a great mindfulness exercise which you can easily do anytime you’re outside.
Do house work
You may have procrastinated on some household tasks. Or maybe you always dread it and distract yourself during the process with social media.
That used to be me. I’d plan a few household chores, for example on a Sunday. In between dusting I’d “take a quick look” at social media. Or watch a video after I finished a menial task.
Because of that, cleaning would take forever and I felt like I spent my whole day just doing household chores.
But I remember one of my first days after I deleted social media apps from my phone. I had some household tasks on my to-do list and went ahead. I remember it very clearly because I was done – and even did more than other times – and the day was far from over!
I was shocked! And proud, to be honest. I had finished so much quicker than other times, simply because I was not distracted by social media.
Instead of scrolling through social media, spend some time on house work. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Organize your closet
- Clean out your pantry, bathroom cabinet, or other storage
- Fix something in your home. There’s probably something you have been meaning to fix or set up, now is the time.
- Paint a room
- Change your bed sheets
- Clean the trash bin (not the greatest task, but it needs to happen every now and then)
- Do the dishes
- Re-decorate a room or re-arrange your furniture
- Do a deep cleaning
- Declutter your make-up, clothes or accessories. Time to get rid of old brushes, shirts with holes and broken earrings.
- Declutter your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or other room(s)
- Do the laundry
- Do a maintenance task. Delayed a maintenance task for ages? Do it, before it’s too late.
Increase your productivity
By using less social media, you will find that there’s more time for “productivity”.
Productivity is a bit of an umbrella term, but here I mean improvements related to goals, work and digital clutter.
Spend your time on these productivity tasks, instead of scrolling social media. They have a snowball effect leading to a higher productivity over time.
- Print and hang a habit tracker
- Set up your desk in an ergonomic way
- Write in a journal
- Clear out and organize your email inbox
- Unsubscribe from annoying email lists
- Start a bullet journal or daily/weekly planner
- Set up your bills for auto-pay
- Do a digital deep clean
- Create routines to make life simpler, lower decision fatigue and increase productivity. You could do it for the morning, bedtime, start and/or finish of the workday, etc.
- Organize your photos
- Start a social media detox
- Delete useless apps on your phone
- Start a meal plan
- Create a vision board for your goals
- Organize the folders on your computer
Let’s get started with these things to do instead of social media
This article contains more than 75 ideas of things to do instead of social media. Now you can’t use the excuse anymore of “not knowing what to do” instead of social media!
Do more things in your real life to stop wasting your precious minutes on mindlessly scrolling through social media.
I’m not saying you should completely stop and get rid of social media. Just that you don’t spend every free second or minute on it.
The free Social Media Detox Guide will help you to commit to using less social media.