We all get lost in the sauce sometimes. The “sauce” I’m referring to here is social media. You pick up your phone to check the time or the weather and next thing you know, an hour has passed, you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, and you cannot report the time or the temperature. Smartphones have allowed us to be able to engage in the unconscious behavior of checking our social media accounts and often toggling between all of them for a potentially unlimited amount of time.
I’m not sure which is scarier: 1., that this is often an unconscious behavior in and of itself, or 2., that because it is unconscious, we’re “unknowingly” absorbing media that’s being stored in our subconscious and is influencing our behaviors in the future. Let me know in the comments what your vote is.
Truth bomb: to avoid all of this brain-hijacking, we might take a stand and go on a “social media hiatus” for a few weeks or a month or longer. We feel rejuvenated, alive (read: conscious)! BUT THEN– we come back to the ‘Gram or Facebook or LinkedIn. And while we may be good at limiting our use for a few days, by weeks end we end up re-starting this cycle of unconscious scrolling and consumption.
I guess that’s enough of stepping on toes for the moment. What can we DO about all of this? It’s obviously not enough to take a break. We also might not want to quit social media cold turkey, as it is a wonderful resource that we have at our fingertips. We do have a problem, though. Okay, maybe I’m not done stepping on toes, but the truth of the matter is that most people might find themselves engrossed in social media because they simply haven’t thought of anything else better to do with their time. Or to a lesser extent, they are avoiding themselves and/or their responsibilities.
In my opinion, what we need to do is to change our relationship with social media. It’s safe to say we use it as a crutch–when we’re bored or procrastinating. But, what if we didn’t depend on social media to fill the gaps in our time because we were busy doing more exciting and productive things? Read on for a list of things you could be doing instead of scrolling through social media.
Things you could do instead of scrolling through social media:
For when you need to tidy up
- Clean up around the house. You know you need to.
- Open your mail and organize your paperwork. Having a paper shredder really helps with this. Thank me later.
- Organize your closet and dresser drawers. The reason why you wear the same 5 shirts each week is because your other ones are lost in the back of the closet. Go into the work week with some “new” swag.
- Organize the Tupperware cupboard. How annoying is it to constantly shield yourself from falling plastic each time you open the door? Not cute.
For when you need to level-up
- Write that business plan that you’ve been dreaming about. Businesses don’t start themselves.
- Update your resume. You never know when opportunity will strike and you need to stay ready for that.
- Get your personal finances in order. Create a budget and a plan to save your coins!
- Read a book. There are billions of them out there. Never stop learning.
- Wardrobe prep for the week. This is the ultimate time-saver in the morning! Let’s end the era of standing sleepily in front of the closet for 10 minutes each morning. Put together your outfits for a week at a time.
- Learn to code. Anyone can do it, it’s like learning another language. It can also translate into a great side-hustle.
- Speaking of language. Learn to speak another one. There are a bunch of language learning apps out there.
- Create a list of places you want to see in the world and start researching how you’ll get there.
For when you need to do self-care
- Do some self-reflection. It’s almost the end of a decade. Write down everything you have accomplished in the 2010s. Go you!
- Drink a tall glass of water. Probably the best thing you can do for yourself is to hydrate–drink more water! Go get a glass right now.
- Upgrade your skincare. Whip up a DIY face mask, exfoliate, or even spray some rose water on. If you’re wondering how your favorite influencer has such great skin it’s probably because they spend more time on their skin than they do posting on Instagram.
- Write a journal entry about your day. Start here.
- Call your loved ones. The perfect replacement for social media scrolling is reaching out to friends and family to check in on them.
For when you need to get healthy and fit
- Go for a walk or exercise. End of story. Don’t have a gym membership? When there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Meditate or do yoga. Staying mindful is key. Namaste.
- Ride a bike. Because, exercise. Also, it’s great to feel like a kid again. Lastly, there are bike rentals in almost every major city.
- Do some mobility and stretching. You probably sit for most of the day. Stretching your muscles will do wonders.
- Cook a healthy meal. Put that recipe you have saved on your phone last year to good use.
For when you need to be creative
- Write a book or article on a topic of interest. Start with an outline and work your way through.
- Create a blog or website. Everyone needs their own corner of the Internet.
- Start a podcast or YouTube channel. Why just watch other people do it when you can create the content you’d want to see on the platforms?
- Edit the photos on your smartphone. I use Adobe Lightroom. It’s free for the mobile app. You can also create a photo album of the photos that are stored on your phone. What else are you going to do with them?
- Create an App. You don’t need to hire a developer either!
- Tap into your artistic side. There are so many drawing and painting tutorials on YouTube, you don’t need to be a pro.
- Pick up a new hobby. Knitting isn’t just for older folk, and you can make some money on the side!
For when you need to get out of the house
- Get out in nature. We’re made for this. There are so many healing benefits of getting outside to smell the roses.
- Explore local museums. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a museum for that!
- Go to the library. Honestly, when’s the last time you’ve been? Also, it’s free. Go.
- Join interest/community groups. Get involved in your community and make a difference.
- Start a garden. You probably have a green thumb just waiting to be put to good use.
There are a TON of other ways to untether yourself from your smartphone and social media scrolling. Whatever works for you, do it. What did I forget? Let me know in the comments your favorite ways to unplug yourself from the addicting and unconscious scrolling habit. Finding other ways to spend your time can prevent you from getting lost in the sauce!