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Sahasra Vemula
Finding new hobbies is a good way to stop wasting time on social media

As technology has done nothing but grow in influence and popularity, the attention span of many people has fallen to an all time low. A lot of people might find themselves with too much free time and not enough hobbies to fill in these gaps. It’s key that people maintain a balance between the addictive-yet entertaining nature of social media and technology, alongside investing more time and energy into ourselves and things that can actually benefit our well being. Teenagers are especially victim to this, as social media has seemingly killed the attention spans and standard of care in so many contexts. 


Put down the phone. Go outside. Prioritize passion over procrastination! 


Finding hobbies to absorb this free time that are also as equally entertaining as the social media black hole we are stuck in is easier than the mind may even know; you could begin with something as simple as figuring out whether you want to find something outdoorsy, creatively driven or a communal activity or club! The range of options out there are limitless, but to no means does that make everything you might try worthwhile. One sophomore at Seminole High School (SHS), Felicity Hereim, says: “Instead of aimlessly scrolling on social media, I think it is way more important to find something you are passionate about and invest time in that. I find myself on Instagram or TikTok a lot of the time, scrolling away and doing my thing, but then I think about how much time I actually spend on these apps. I spend a lot of my time wasted away on social media, when I could be researching something or doing something I am passionate about and actually want to be doing.” 


Outdoorsy activities can range anywhere from a more athletic, high viscosity activity like beach volleyball or swimming, to starting a calm and relaxing garden in your backyard. There is so much value in spending time in nature and getting that fresh air we all need and love to breathe. Even things like photography can be included; outdoors or indoors, photography is a fun and creative hobby that pretty much anybody has access to in this era of technology. 


On the more creative end, a lot of people have tried to take up a new art medium like resin art, oil pastels, and especially digital art. As previously mentioned as well, photography can also be a great creative outlet while simultaneously aligning with outdoorsy or nature-surrounded interests. An anonymous SHS senior says:  “I took a 3D art class this year and I think that really opened my mind up to new styles of art that didn’t even pass my mind prior. I started to get really into clay sculpting, pottery, and mosaics. Of course I still have my moments of no-brainer social media time, but now that I’ve discovered this passion I didn’t know I had, I find my time being so much more well-distributed and I enjoy everything I do so much more! As nerve-wracking as it may be to try something new, especially if it’s hard at first, I promise it’s so much more worth it in the end and it’s so much more fun!” 


To combat this massively populated observation of unpurposefulness amongst people (especially teens) now, we as people have to put in effort into finding alternative options to sitting and scrolling on TikTok or Instagram, ruining our natural attentive ability and dreaming of a superficial life we can never truly attain if we don’t separate ourselves from the fake reality that is so often misportrayed on the internet. The actuality of putting work into yourself and building the life you dream of is the biggest achievement to carry throughout life, but you can only do so when you separate yourself from life’s addiction to distraction. 

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