How not to spend your free time

What is the first thing many of us do when we finish work, or when we sit on a bus, or when you first wake up? Let me guess, for most of us we pick up our phones and scroll through our Twitter feeds (as flicking through a newspaper is too old fashioned), or double tap on pictures you’ve found on Instagram of someone you barely even speak to. The sad fact is that to know someone’s name has become a good enough reason to spend your free time learning more about their life. This is all very well and passes the time, yet ironically excessive use of social media has in fact made us unsociable.How many times have you gone out for dinner with a friend and the conversation comes to an abrupt halt as their fingers dance along the screen, texting? Frustrating.

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Social media is a powerful tool we have the privilege of using and it’s a quick way to see what your friends and family are up to. Just be mindful not to let it take over your life that’s all. As with everything, use in moderation. When you’re next on the bus, stop your thumb from scrolling through your feeds, because you only checked it an hour ago and I doubt a lot has changed. Unplug yourself from your phone screen and make conversation to the person next to you. Instead of absent mindedly searching through the weather app, ask the old lady next to you what the weather is meant to be like, chances are she spent the whole morning watching the news and is more clued up. Don’t waste all your valuable time looking at pictures or statuses of people you don’t even speak to anymore. Spend that time making memories with the ones who love you, your friends and family.

Instead of writing the standard birthday message on someone’s Facebook wall, send a card that they can keep forever on their wall, it will mean a lot more. Instead of silently watching the latest soap episodes on your comfy sofas and snap chatting pointlessly , get out a pack of cards and play a game of snap. Because spending quality family time is becoming more difficult with the busy lives that are demanded from us, so make the most of the free time you have with the people you actually care about.

Let’s become social and stop checking our phones compulsively. Resist the urge. Time is too precious. Ring up your cousin, meet up with a  friend or learn the recipe of your favourite meal that your grandparents have mastered over the years.

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