We are all guilty of it, and for some of us, it is even necessary for our jobs. However, it is also important to maintain some hobbies to replace social media scrolling.
Did you know that adults spend an average of 2.5 hours scrolling through social media each day? When annualized, that comes out to roughly 38 days, or 10.4%, of the year being spent on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest. I’ll let that sink in.
While I don’t spend quite as much time on social media as the average adult, it’s still more time than I’d like to admit. So this year, I’m making it a goal to scale back on my usage and use that time saved in a more constructive way. If you’re now thinking this might be a goal you want to tackle for the year, here are some hobbies to replace social media scrolling.
I love diving in and getting lost in a good book. I keep a TBR (to be read) list going on the GoodReads app and on Amazon, so I never run out of ideas. And while I prefer to read fiction, I’m challenging myself to read more non-fiction this year. I have a stack of self-improvement books that are calling my name!
Participating in an online class
I realize this doesn’t get me away from screens, but the usage is much more productive than spending hours on social media platforms. Last year, I signed up for a Skillshare subscription and have definitely not tapped into its full potential.
Calling or video-chatting family and friends more
Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of talking on the phone (I much prefer texting), but I always feel like I have a better connection when talking on the phone. And, during a time when getting together isn’t always possible (thanks, Covid), phone calls and video chats are the next best thing! And it’s definitely time better spent than mindlessly scrolling.
Playing more games and activities with my daughter
My five-year-old is really getting into board and card games, so it’s been fun to play some of her favorites (e.g., Pretty, Pretty Princess, Zingo, Jenga, etc.) during these cold winter months. Other activities we love to do together include coloring and making necklaces and bracelets. Also, I love a good play-through-learning activity. So I’m looking forward to spending more quality time doing activities instead of being distracted by my phone.
Start watching (or rewatch) a TV series
Again, this is switching one screen for another, but if I’m being honest, I mindlessly scroll because it’s just that, mindless. And some days, that’s really what I need. I have definitely replaced TV watching with social media scrolling, so I look forward to watching some new series on the weekends.
In addition to writing for the Twin Cities Mom Collective blog, I write for my own blog. While it’s a hobby that’s taken a back seat over the last 6ish months, it’s one I’m hoping to get back to this year. If blogging isn’t your thing, give journaling a try. It’s such a good way to get your thoughts and ideas out on paper (and an excellent way to help with anxiety, too!). And how fun will it be to look back on in years to come.
Be more active
Think about how much stronger I could be if I turned to weights instead of social media! A challenging idea if being active is on your intentions for this year: matching the minutes spent on social media with how many minutes you need to spend being active. While I’m not ready to get that crazy, increasing my activity level is definitely a focus for me this year. So why not kill two goals at a time?
Organize or clean the house
While this isn’t the most exciting switch, it’s definitely an area that I could use more consistency with. I’ve been meaning to get rid of many items we no longer need or use, so switching out 20-30 minutes on Facebook and Instagram for tidying up closets, cupboards, and other rooms of the house can make a significant impact over the course of the year.
Self care routine
My longest social media “binges” of the day tend to be right before bed. I also have an inconsistent routine when it comes to caring for my skin. Rather than picking up my phone, I’ll look to cleansers, face masks, and serums as my new bedtime ritual. Not only will my skin look and feel better, but my sleep should hopefully improve without the pre-sleep screen time.
I hope some of these ideas have inspired you with ways to ditch the mindless scrolling for more productive activities, or at least those that are better for your mental health. If you want to set a similar goal for yourself this year, here’s a couple of ideas to encourage success.
1. Exchange the bad habit with a good one
Most of the ideas above are activities that tie back to other goals or intentions I’ve set for myself this year. So think of what other plans you have for yourself and see how you can switch your social media habit with one that aligns with what you want to achieve this year.
2. Eliminate the distraction
You’ll be less likely to pick up your device to mindlessly scroll if it’s not available at your fingertips, so eliminating the distraction can be key. For example, put your phone in a different room, remove the apps from your phone/tablet or use the time limit options (either within the apps themselves or on your phone) to ensure you’re only allowing yourself to spend so much time scrolling.
3. Start small and track your progress
Success won’t happen overnight, so set smaller, bite-sized goals that are more achievable. For example, if you currently spend 2 hours a day, try cutting it to an hour and a half. After a couple of weeks, if that’s manageable, cut it down to an hour. And give yourself grace. Honestly, sometimes a good, mindless scroll is what you may need after a long, stressful day. And that’s okay, too.
Is stopping the social media scroll a focus for you this coming year? Leave us a comment on your goal and what you hope to gain from the extra time you have over the next year.