Although Facebook isn’t the newest thing on the block, many people seem to automatically tune in Facebook during downtime. It’s become instinctive to want to know constantly what’s going on. Also, scrolling through the news feed gives us a false sense of productivity (i.e. it seems more sensible to look at something rather than stare at nothing). This habit puts us in that zone between resting and working, and we don’t realize how much time we’ve lost while absentmindedly flicking through posts.
Not saying we should quit Facebook (because we can’t), but for better use of our time, here are 5 alternatives to Facebooking:
If you’re tired, it’s better to close your eyes for a few seconds than repeatedly look at photos of your cousin’s baby or your friend’s vacation. If you’re worried about sleeping too long, set an alarm, or ask someone to wake you after 10-15 minutes. If you’re in the office (and it’s not good form to be seen slumped on your desk), bring your mug to the pantry and find a corner to sit and rest for a short while.
Remember how we were more sociable creatures before social media came along? Sadly, it’s become easier to look at our phones and type away rather than actually talk. But try human contact, it’s better for your health. While at work, instead of messaging your colleague, walk over to his/her desk and pose your question. When eating out with friends, collectively agree to put away your phones and talk to each other. Even a banal comment like “I like your hair” is a start if you’re at a loss for words.
3. Look around you
When you’re on the train/bus, put your phone away and subtly look at the people around you(but don’t stare too much). Look out the window––you might be surprised to find a new building, a nice type of car, or how pretty the sky looks during sunset. Re-train your mind to be more observant and imaginative, instead of mindlessly soaking in whatever’s on a screen.
You’d be surprised at how therapeutic cleaning is. Even if it’s just throwing pieces of paper away and rearranging your things, you’ll feel better afterwards. Have some clean scraps of cloth and rubbing alcohol within reach to wipe dusty parts. Clean the spaces in between your keyboard (especially if you tend to eat while working). Wipe your phone, clean out your wallet/bag (and get rid of that huge wad of receipts/tissue lying around).
5. Make/write something
Draw/sketch something, make an origami, or write a note. You can give these to a friend, or your mom, and it’ll easily make their day (and yours too, for getting creative and being thoughtful).
There are many other ways to pass time without turning to a screen. Let’s try to remember that while we embrace technology to improve our lives, we should also work to not let it control us!