Social media is great until it isn’t. When you find that your use of social media has changed from enjoying keeping up with far away family and friends or connecting with interesting people to fighting with strangers or feeling angry or inadequate about something you saw online, not to mention having trouble sleeping, it’s time to step back. You may be surprised at how much free time you have when you severely limit your time online. You might need to remove apps from your phone and set up blocks on your computer to reinforce your resolution. Whether your new restrictions are temporary or permanent, here are some ways you can make the most of the time you have.
Focus on School
If you’re a student, you may have found that spending time online distracted you from your studies. Like many people, you probably worked hard and took out student loans in order to pay for college, so it’s important to make the most of it. Your ability to repay those loans sooner rather than later are also tied to the kind of income you’ll make after college, so there are really no down sides to focusing more on school. You might even find that you have time to pick up an extracurricular activity that could contribute to making you a more attractive employment prospect after graduation.
Talk to Your Friends and Family
The irony of social media is that while it facilitates communication in some cases, it can also reduce the quality time you spend with family and friends. When was the last time you picked up the phone and had a good one-on-one conversation with someone? You may find that you have more time to meet up with people in person and that when you do so, your attention isn’t as divided since you aren’t constantly distracted by alerts from various social media feeds. See if you can deepen the quality of the relationships that mean the most to you in this time.
Pick Up an Extra Work Shift
Time is money, and you might just be able to make more of it by taking on a second job or an extra shift at work. This can help you pay down debt or save toward a goal. While it’s important to pay attention to your work-life balance and make sure that you aren’t working long hours indefinitely that take their toll on your well-being, this can be a good opportunity to stabilize your finances.
Make Progress on that Dream Project
Whether it’s writing the great American novel, running a marathon or just working your way through all the levels of your favorite video game, you probably have some project that you never quite seem to find the time to pursue. If you don’t have a particular project in mind, you can probably find one. Maybe you’ll take up knitting, gourmet cooking or woodworking. You may find that your new projects fill your time so effectively that you never go back to the same level of social media usage that you had before, leaving you with a healthier balance and better approach to a tool that can be useful in moderation.