33 Cheap Things to Do Instead of Social Media

by Mihail Angelov
8 mins read
things to do instead of social media

Technology has become an integral part of the modern way of life.

With smart devices becoming increasingly powerful, people can now manage almost everything within a 6-inch screen. The world is now literally in the palms of our hands, and we can manage it with a few taps on our smartphones.

The revolution that we have witnessed in the past decade has undoubtedly been fueled by social media platforms, which have changed everyday life to a certain extent.

STATS 🌐

57.6% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes (October 2021).

Source: Statista

One of the most significant changes is the digitization of the so-called human factor. Face-to-face communication has been digitized to the point that it is the only way they communicate with others for some people.

However, social media does not only serve as a means of communication; it can also serve as a means of entertainment, finding information, finding friends, working, and sharing opinions making the whole experience mesmerizing.

Despite the uses of the Internet being “magical” and “irresistible”, we think it’s time to step away from your phone screen and take a break. 

At least for a few hours. 

The idea of taking a break from social media is not new. Several studies in recent years have shown that people who spend less time using social media apps or use their phones for more productive activities are generally happier and healthier in regards to their mental health than those who spend more time online.

So, what to do instead of scrolling through social platforms, then? 

You can do many things to fill your time but to make your life easier, here is a list of 33 very diverse activities that will help you get away from screens for a few hours.

Here is the list:

  1. Clean your room
  2. Read a book
  3. Learn how to use image-editing tools
  4. Try to learn another language
  5. Go for a walk
  6. Watch your favorite TV shows
  7. Start painting
  8. Make a vision board
  9. Learn how to ride a bike
  10. Try to mediate 
  11. Start exercising
  12. Learn how to cook
  13. Visit a local museum
  14. Learn how to play chess
  15. Try crafting
  16. Play monopoly with your friends
  17. Volunteer in your local dog shelter
  18. Apply for a writing contest
  19. Start a journal
  20. Plan a trip
  21. Learn about current political events
  22. Start gardening
  23. Go camping 
  24. Listen to a podcast
  25. Unsubscribe from annoying newsletters
  26. Meet with a friend
  27. Discover investment opportunities
  28. Learn what is Bitcoin
  29. Read your yearbook
  30. Learn how to speed read 
  31. Try to sing
  32. Try to Moonwalk
  33. Take a power nap

Let’s check each of them in more detail.

1. Clean your room

First things first, we start by talking about cleaning! And it’s for a great reason too. The act of cleaning is not only a great way to limit your screen time, but it can also help you feel more positive. Interestingly enough, making your bed in the morning gives a sense of accomplishment to boost your self-esteem and improve your mood.

Furthermore, if your room is neat and clean, you’ll have fewer distractions and more space to enjoy your favorite activities. Also, staying in a clean room can improve your general health too. 

2. Read a book

When was the last time you read a book? Ditching social media for a few hours means you will have extra time to spend on some quality activities like reading a book. 

A book can be a source of fun and a source of information that can be applied to everyday life.

In case you haven’t read classics like Ana Karenina, The Great Gadsby, or Pride and Prejudice, now’s the time to get to know them. These would be great topics to discuss with your friends.

However, If you are not interested in spending money on hard copy books, free and downloadable PDfs can be a good substitute. 

Some of the most reliable websites for e-books are pdfdrive.com and gutenberg.org.

3. Learn how to use image-editing tools

Giving social media networks doesn’t mean giving up on technology completely. As a matter of fact, it is good to keep up with modern technology.

Modern professions require the use of image-editing tools. Even if they are not part of your job requirements, editing images can be a fun and relaxing activity for your spare time and additional skill for your resume.

In addition, experimenting with new and attractive skills such as photo-editing might spark a new interest and lead you into a new career path. You might even find a side hustle that will bring you closer to financial independence.

Beginners who have never used a photo editing tool can take advantage of free and user-friendly alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, such as Canva and Gimp.

4. Try to learn another language

Learning a foreign language can indeed be a challenging task. However, the time spent learning a foreign language brings many benefits.

Many studies have shown that foreign languages can improve your memory and expand your creativity. Furthermore, speaking another language makes staying in another country more enjoyable and comfortable for people with itchy feet, wanderlusts, and people looking to relocate.

To give you an idea of where to start English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Russian and German are some of the most used world languages.

As a cheap way to learn any language, you can try watching YouTube videos or subscribe to a free plan on apps such as Duolingo.

5. Go for a walk

Going for a walk seems like an obvious activity when we are not spending time looking at our phone screens.

However, many of us still decide to spend most of the time indoors. According to one study, an average person spends 145 minutes a day using social media platforms. On the other hand, a 10-minute walk has impressive benefits for our general health. 

So, we are setting ourselves for a much healthier way of life by using only 10 minutes a day from our social media time. 

6. Watch your favorite TV shows

We understand that fun can’t always be off-screen. That’s why watching TV shows and movies is next on the list of activities. 

We are sure you have at least one favorite television show that you enjoy rewatching. However, if that’s not the case, here are a few comedy suggestions for you:

  • Married With Children
  • My Name is Earl
  • Just Shoot Me!
  • Miracle Workers

If you are not a fan of comedy movies, you can check out our list of Best TV Shows Of All Time That You Should Watch Right Now.

7. Start painting 

If you have never tried painting, now is the perfect time to start.

Several sources online state that painting provides a relaxing environment beneficial for the brain and overall mental health.

Painting is also a fantastic way to explore and develop your creativity. By creating visual artwork, people can enhance their imagination, relieve stress, and become happier.  

8. Make a vision board

Vision boards are an additional activity that needs a place on your new to-do list. 

If you’re not familiar with vision boards, they serve as a way for people to visualize their goals and wishes and also as motivation and reminders of what they hope to accomplish in real life.

Think about where you would like to be in a year, consider setting at least one life goal, and make a vision board with old magazines and scissors. If you do not have access to any magazines anymore, there are lots of online tools you can use to create one digitally. 

9. Learn how to ride a bike 

Riding a bike is an excellent source of fun for many kids. 

In any case, if you didn’t get the chance to ride a bike as a child, you should try it now.

Starting any type of physical activity in your life can have tremendous mental health effects, and taking a bike ride every now and then can increase your muscle strength, improve your posture, and strengthen your bones.

With alternative activities, such as learning to ride a bike, all the negative impacts of scrolling aimlessly on social media can be mitigated to a certain extent.

10. Try to mediate 

Mediation is not easy, but it is most certainly worth a try. 

With meditation, you can relax the mind, improve concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Meditation can be practiced in many ways. One of the most popular types of meditation is mindfulness mediation, where people try to stay present at the moment instead of getting distracted by overthinking.

Trying mediation for at least a few minutes a day can significantly improve your overall mood and make you a calmer and happier person.

11. Start exercising

Try to replace social media with a few minutes of exercising every day. Although physical activities have many benefits, lacking motivation may keep you in bed with your phone in hand. 

Fitness trainers are aware of the lack of motivation people face when exercising, so they often include motivational speeches before the training session begins. 

As a result, if you find it challenging to get started, you can find plenty of fitness trainers on YouTube who encourages their viewers to continue pushing through the exercises, thus making the entire training session more enjoyable.

12. Learn how to cook a meal

Learn how to cook a proper meal. 

Cooking a meal should be a basic human skill. However, due to the lack of time, many people eat snacks or go to the nearest fast food store and eat a nutritionally poor meal. 

It takes time to prepare a healthy meal, but the screen-free time you spend cooking for yourself can be beneficial for both your mental and physical health.

If you already know how to cook, maybe it’s time to try out a new recipe.

13. Visit a local museum 

Museums are places where historical objects of a particular value are exhibited and stored. 

There are many stories behind each exhibit that will inspire and educate you. 

You can take virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous museums, including the British Museum in London if the museums in your area are closed or too expensive to visit.

Taking a virtual tour in a museum, it’s an experience on its own. 

14. Learn how to play chess

Chess is not hard to learn but provides many benefits. The social aspect is one of them. People of any age can play chess. It can be played with your friends or with your grandpa. 

You could even hold a tournament if you enjoy it. 

15. Try crafting

It’s time to remember the days when you did various DIY projects in kindergarten.

Do you remember how much fun it was?

We could play and decorate objects any way we wanted.

But in addition to fun, creating and decorating objects from various materials stimulates creativity and allows you to express yourself in a variety of imaginative ways.

16. Play monopoly with your friends

As an alternative to scrolling through social media, you could play monopoly with your closest friends if you do not want to get too far from your comfort zone. 

Playing monopoly can also help you develop the part of your brain responsible for cognitive skills.  

17. Volunteer in your local dog shelter

Volunteer work can make you feel rewarded and satisfied.

There is nothing better than caring for and giving attention to the dogs in dog shelters.

Additionally, dogs are remarkable for mental health. Many studies have shown that dogs can help reduce levels of anxiety, depression, loneliness and help you feel better overall. 

18. Apply for a writing contest

Perhaps you should try and win a prize for your imaginative skills if you are a talented writer. 

There are multiple online writing contests that challenge imagination and writing capabilities. Some writing contests offer monetary rewards and promote the writers who have sent their work on numerous social media channels.

19. Start a journal

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by feelings and thoughts? 

If you have, journaling is an effective method that can help you calm down your racing mind. Journaling is an effective and affordable self-care activity for self-exploration, releasing trapped feelings and anxiety. 

A good technique you can practice is writing down a few things you are grateful for and reading them every night before you go to bed. You can keep the journal on your bedside table and add new entries whenever you like.

20. Plan a trip

Do you have a favorite country on your bucket list?

If yes, it’s time to check the prices and see if you can plan a trip. Planning a trip may not be the cheapest activity, but informing yourself about the accommodation prices and the general socio-economic situation of the country you want to visit is an excellent way to know when to start saving.

21. Learn about current political events

Politics are not everyone’s cup of tea. 

However, it is vital to learn about the current political activities since they directly affect democracy and human rights. In addition, knowing who to vote for is another reason to become interested in politics. 

If global politics are too much, checking out what is happening in your country could be a good starting point.

22. Start gardening

Why gardening?

Because it improves the connection we have with nature, releases stress, and teaches responsibility.

Both home and outdoor gardening can bring you the benefits mentioned above. However, outdoor gardening and a little sunlight exposure can additionally improve your mood.

23. Go camping 

The best way to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with nature is by spending some time camping. 

If you are a first-timer, you can visit a nearby rural and peaceful place. If setting up a tent is not something you would gladly try, looking for affordable accommodation is another option you can consider.

Of course, you don’t have to give up communication completely. Even if you have never slept in nature before, it is recommended that you keep in touch with your friends and family, at least through text messages.

Here you can check the negative effects social media can have on family relationships.

24. Listen to a podcast

Multiple podcasts online can keep you entertained and filled with exciting and fun topics.

The best part is that they are free, so you can play them whenever you wish. There are many options available, even if you are trying to find podcasts for educational purposes.

Especially, iPhone users can use the built-in app on their phones to listen to different podcasts.

25. Unsubscribe from annoying newsletters

We all hate cluttered email boxes. We miss important emails or overlook them, while annoying notifications about newsletters disrupt our peace constantly. 

Even if you don’t want to subscribe to some websites, they may still ask for an email address to download an e-book or send important information.  

Instead of spending your time-wasting on social networks, you may be able to delete and unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists.

26. Meet with a friend

Spending less time on social media networks will allow you to spend more time with your closest friends. Socialization is a huge part of life, and when it happens in real life instead of through the virtual medium, it results in nurtured and strong connections.

Plan at least a few hours each week to spend with friends and make up for lost time on social media.

27. Discover investment opportunities

Time moves fast and every day more and more investment opportunities open up.

From cryptocurrencies to mutual funds, there are many ways to invest your money and make your future financially secure.

It takes a lot of research and information to invest in different ways to increase your money over time. So instead of constantly scrolling through social media, take an hour or two to find out about ways you can wisely invest your money.

28. Learn what is Bitcoin

Are cryptocurrencies safe? Is paying through digital currencies the future?

No one can give answers with certainty, but it is safe to say that knowledge of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will be needed for the future.

Whether you want to invest in Bitcoin or not, knowledge of sophisticated and modern technology such as blockchain may one day prove to be beneficial.

29. Read your yearbook

When was the last time you remembered your childhood?

Your yearbook can undoubtedly take you back to when you were a carefree child and remind you of classmates you haven’t talked to in a long time.

Open your yearbook and remind yourself of all the interesting memories that make you the person you are today.

30. Learn how to speed read 

Wouldn’t a speed reed be a really cool skill to have?

It would most certainly save you some time when reading extensive articles with too much information in them.

Speed reading is also a way to challenge your brain to perform better in everyday tasks such as reading. Furthermore, spread reading can help you improve your memory and absorb information and data with ease.

There are many YouTube videos explaining how to learn to speed read and all the benefits you can revive from this skill.

31. Try to sing

You may already perform concerts under the shower or sing while you are alone at home. 

But did you know that you can actually learn how to sing? All it needs is a persistent exercise of the voice. Singing well doesn’t require you to be an exceptionally talented person. 

Also, it may not be pleasant at first, but you might eventually discover a hidden talent of yours.

32. Try to Moonwalk

Moonwalking can make you the center of attention at parties where people like to dance.

It’s a popular dance movie and it’s easily understandable if you decide to invest some time into practicing it. If you manage to master this move, it may awake a desire for exploring and learning new dance moves that will lead you to a new hobby.

As with everything else, these days, tutorials on how to do the Moonwalk can be found on YouTube for free.

33. Take a power nap

20-30 minutes naps are amazing to restart your body. According to a few online sources, power naps are great for releasing stress, fatigue and sharpening your focus.

Power naps are superb for people who work from home and can nap for 20 minutes on their launch break. 

So, instead of spending your time scrolling to social media, restart your mind and take a power nap.

Final thoughts

Social networks brought many amazing things into our lives. Due to their nature, users can communicate, share ideas, and collaborate.

But social media addiction is real.

And it is time to take a break if scrolling through these platforms is taking so much of your time that you have no time for anything else.

Take this to-do list and try to include at least one activity today.

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