10 Things You Could Do Instead Of Sitting On Social Media
Living your life on social media has become so normalised that we forget that it’s not actually living. It is not uncommon for the average Joe or Jane to delegate a chunk of their daily routine to scrolling through their socials. And sure, on the surface it’s great. Without changing out of your pyjamas on the weekend you can find a date online, Whatsapp your bestie, and find a sense of validation by Instagram-ing your brunch from the day before.
But is our behaviour bordering on addictive? Yes. Yes, it is. Wollongong University’s Professor Katina Michael is an expert in online addiction. She says as the internet elbows its way into more areas of our lives, problems are becoming more common. “The greater the access and the greater the penetration of these applications and services, the greater the propensity for more of the population to have some form of trigger.”
New research claims that in 2017, more people are looking to quit social media than quit smoking. There’s even apps like AntiSocial which you can use to track how much time you spend on your phone – like a Fitbit for your mental health – which you can also use to block your socials. The app’s creator Chris Eade says “We’re not trying to tell people to stop using their phones. We’re just trying to give them the reference point about where they stand. “ The whole idea, then, is about giving you back some control. With many of us looking to kick the habit this year, we created a list of the top 10 things you can do instead of sitting on social media and avoid the #humblebrag vortex.
#1 Plan your next vacation off the grid
Beat #FOMO and spend the time you would normally dedicate to selecting the perfect Snapchat filter on planning your next big trip out of town. It could be your next big getaway or a chill camping trip along the coast. Using your time efficiently to plan future breaks will give you something to look forward to when you are next fooled into thinking a friend’s highly curated social media feed is their actual reality.
#2 Go to a class and pick up a new skill or hobby
Take a life drawing class, design a skate deck, get crafty with macramé, or learn how to make a kangaroo leather wallet. Whatever your fancy, make sure it’s something that you can do in a phone-free zone. Keep an open mind and attempt to unleash your creativity. Allow your mind to wander away from endless streams of click-bait and stalking your ex’s new partner’s brother-in-law. Nobody got time for that.
#3 Surround yourself with like-minded people
Join an activity with people that like the same stuff as you do. Want to kayak your way through the weekend? Find a local group and tag along for rad new times. If you actively place yourself outside of your comfort zone you will feel confident in making real new connections and break through your social media addiction in a productive and positive way. Real socialising: How bout dah.
#4 Learn a new recipe
There comes a time in every adult’s life when they are asked what their signature dish is. It might be with your flatmates as you binge watch Masterchef or when you are meeting your potential in-laws and attempting to convince them you have your stuff together.
Tap into the culinary skills you’ve absorbed through Instagram-osmosis and have a crack at recreating your favourite posts in the kitchen. Without a doubt you feel better from having spent time away from refreshing your feed and nurturing your new-found culinary skills instead.
#5 Go outside
We talk about it all the time here at the Cusp because we believe that spending time outdoors is the best cure-all after coffee. Give your dry eyes a break and slap on some SPF. Get some sun rays on your face and fresh air in your lungs to instantly boost your mood and energy levels.
#6 Go app-less
GoogleMaps is great for getting you where you need to go when you are in a rush and need to get from A to B in the least amount of time. But when you are not on a deadline, take the chance to slow down and walk around town on your own terms. Switch off your phone. Explore and engage with your immediate surroundings. You might discover new routes or quirky places in your home city that you hadn’t noticed before.
#7 People watch over coffee
Take a friend with you or spend some time alone with your thoughts. Find a cosy window spot in your local favourite or grab a stool at the café you usually only buy takeaway from. Order your coffee and then, just sit. You can either pass judgement on all the folk with their noses stuck in a screen or find some much needed styling inspiration. People are endlessly fascinating – take some time out to observe.
It doesn’t have to be War and Peace or The Odyssey. Just pick up a book or a newspaper or a magazine or a blog post about anything that truly interests you. Not only will you feel creatively nourished, you will undoubtedly notice a difference in your mental state. Disengage from trashy, uncultured Facebook posts and sink your teeth into something with a bit more substance.
#9 Learn a new language
Who has time to mindlessly scroll through yet another social media feed or respond to the trillion notifications blowing up your phone when you have new language skills to practice? If you ever spent time in Spain and then swore you would take up Spanish lessons when you went home, now is the perfect time to put your money where your mouth is.
#10 Plant trees
If you are looking for even more motivation to keep away from social media, look no further than Forest. Forest blocks access to your phone for an hour at a time. For every hour you successfully complete, you earn points to plant trees.
Claire Dalgleish is a freelance writer and art curator who currently lives in Sydney. She woke up like this. You can read more on her blog art/writing/projects and follow her via @art.writing.projects