Our generation’s fascination with the ever-changing, always-advancing world of social media detracts from personal interaction. This trend is not restricted to millennials. Other generations have, in one form or another, taken kindly to social media.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have their perks. It’s nice to see what old friends are up to when distance separates us, and communication is much more efficient for large groups.
We often read posts describing users’ decisions to distance themselves from social media so they can focus more on the people around them or spend their time on more worthwhile endeavors. Those bold, admirable statements restore my hope in others.
While I don’t spend a significant amount of time on social media, I know that every minute I spend scrolling through my feed could be used for a more productive activity. For the reasons listed above, I don’t wish to completely cut myself off of social media. Rather, I would like to make the most of my time and save the scrolling for a small time set aside for that activity alone.
If you’re up for the challenge, I have laid out a plan for how to take full advantage of a typical day. In addition to the times of day I need to make better use of, I have included other times of the day that, from personal experience, have proved to be better spent on other interests.
Instead of scrolling through your feed when you wake up in the morning, plan out your day. Set aside time for each project that demands your attention. Once the planning is over, get going on your first priority.
On your way to class, make eye contact with people. Acknowledging others with a smile or simply saying “hi” is much better than nearly walking into them while looking down at your phone.
While waiting for class to start, make conversation with the people around you. Face-to-face communication is best, after all. Pay compliments when compliments are due, or ask how their days are going. Showing someone else that they are worth your time boosts their mood, as well as yours.
Instead of taking a study break by looking through social media, get moving and work out. Exercise clears your mind and gives you a sense of accomplishment to keep you going throughout the day.
When you’re overwhelmed by your workload, pray. Giving your worries up to God, as well as thanking Him for all your blessings, gives you an uplifting, empowering feeling.
In those moments, you can also re-read something that means a lot to you. When I feel incapable of tackling a great deal of work that lies before me, I read a letter my favorite high school teacher wrote me for graduation. His encouraging words give me the confidence I need to power through any project.
Another way to combat that overwhelming feeling is re-organizing your space. Getting rid of clutter and putting everything in its place calms my nerves and allows me to keep going.
When you have a few minutes to spare in your schedule, do something nice for someone else. Whether that’s by writing someone a note or doing something to make their lives a little easier, it’s a win-win. They will appreciate that nice surprise, and you will feel happy for making their day.
After a long day of classes, meetings and running around, take a break by spending time with someone. Call your mom to catch up. Ask a friend to meet for coffee. Watch a movie with your roommate. Or, if you don’t want to be around people, find something relaxing to do on your own, like reading for fun or watching an episode of your current Netflix obsession.
A couple hours before bed, take some time to catch up on other people’s days by scrolling through your social media sites. However, you should set aside a certain amount of time so that it doesn’t take over your night.
Right before bed, look toward the near future. Is there something you can get done tonight that will make tomorrow easier? How can you best prepare for the week ahead? You can also take some time to reflect on your day. What made you smile? What did you learn? What can you do better tomorrow?
It’s so easy to take breaks throughout our days by going right to our phones and looking for entertainment. There are so many ways we can make better use of our time, and I commit to doing more of what matters. Do you think you’re up for the challenge?