Unplugging and Recharging

When Instagram and Facebook went down a few weeks back, millions of users were clueless on how to spend their freetime; I know I was. I found myself switching back-and-forth between my apps all day, waiting for a different outcome—I didn’t even realize I was doing it half the time! I know I’m not alone in this, and perhaps this is a wake-up call for users like myself who decided to take that opportunity to resort to other apps for the day, like TikTok and Twitter. Next time we experience a social media blackout, maybe we should consider it a well-deserved break, and put our energy towards something more productive and fulfilling! Here are some ways we can do that:


Spend Time on Paper

Have you been wanting to get back into that book you started forever ago? Then you should take this social media break as an opportunity to do that. If you aren’t a fan of reading, you can have fun with paper in other ways, such as learning origami, or even drawing and painting! If writing is more your thing, get into journaling. Not only are these all great alternatives to mindless scrolling, but these are also fun and relaxing ways to wind down before bed and spend some time with yourself. In fact, it's been proven that staring at a screen right before bed will mess with the quality of your sleep—so if you happen to stumble across an off-screen activity you really enjoy, you should definitely try implementing it into your nightly routine!


Self-Care

Though we should ALWAYS be making time to take care of ourselves, a lot of people will tell you that they just don’t have the time. But, what if we took all of that time we spend on social media and put it towards ourselves? A few ways we can do this is by doing any of the activities listed above, as they are all therapeutic hobbies we can engage in to decompress. You could also take an extra long shower or bath while indulging in candles and essential oils, or pair your favorite movie with your favorite pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Everyone’s favorite form of self-care is different, so find what works for you to make your day a little brighter.


Go Outside!

As cliché as it sounds, spending time in the great outdoors is always a nice alternative to spending time on our phones. Take this time to exercise by running and hiking, or use the opportunity for a more relaxing activity, such as sitting on the beach or taking a stroll with friends. This time of year, there is no shortage of beautiful places to explore, and the best spots are just a quick Google search away. However you decide to spend your time outside, the most important thing is that you’re getting the Vitamin D we can never have enough of!


Social media has many benefits and positive usages, but I think we can all admit to being a little too reliant on our phones from time to time! So, instead of waiting for the next time Instagram and Facebook are down, let’s try putting aside some time each week to put down the phone and try something new. The next time we experience a social media shutdown (and hopefully before that!) these tips should have you better prepared.


—Katie Cogland

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