When was the last time you turned off your computer or smartphone and stayed away from all your social media accounts for at least a few hours? This question is a difficult one for the many of us who check our social media feeds regularly. These sites distract us to the extent that we often forget to notice the small amount of time we leave for ourselves and loved ones — time spent trolling social media doesn’t count.
When social networking sites emerged, we believed them to be only advantageous and not at all detrimental, as they aim to connect everyone around the world. But, now we’re addicted; if we were able to rid ourselves of this social networking dependence, free time would be abundant. So, don't try to convince yourself — or anyone else — that the hours you spend on social networking sites are an effective use of personal time.
Obviously, social networking sites possess plenty of benefits, but we vastly overestimate the value and incorporate it too much into our lives. Although many of us try to deny it, we are social networking addicts. Taking the first step to reform addiction is always the toughest, but once you choose to make the plunge, things get easier. Start by logging out of your social network accounts and turn off your computer.
Give yourself an Internet break and keep yourself busy with other activities. We are so conditioned to using the Internet to facilitate leisure time that upon being banned from using it, we may find difficulty in enjoying other activities. But, consider taking up any of these pre-web pastimes:
It is the most ancient set of activities in the world. Playing a sport is not only good for your health, but it is good for developing intelligence and motivation, too. Going for a run and listening to your favorite music may increase your self-esteem and productivity.
Reading may seem like a very boring activity, though, in comparison to trolling social media for hours on end, it’s riveting. You don't need to read the dense classic novels if you prefer not to do so, but pick some text. Reading will keep your stress at bay because it occupies your mind with other, creative thoughts.
Going out with friends
This may not feel like something new, as you may already go out with friends daily. Don't sit somewhere with them while you check your Facebook or Twitter profiles — instead, actually socialize with your friends.
Spend time with your family
Do not abandon your family. They have always supported you, helped you whenever you were in trouble and when they’re gone, you will be regretful that you didn’t make the most of the time you had.
Learn new skills
Learn a new language, play a musical instrument, make something with your own hands, try cooking or anything really. The best part about learning something new is that you will meet new people and broaden your network. Moreover, by learning something new, you will glean inspiration and moral satisfaction.
Discover new places
No matter where you live — a megalopolis or a town — it is always great to discover new, local places. It’s better to see something once than to hear about it 100 times.
There is no need to abandon your social network accounts, but at least try to turn off your computer and do something different, weekly. It’s important to realize that there is a real world around you in which you can have fun with the real-life people who are close to you.