After talking about my addiction to scrolling through social media a few posts ago, I’ve been making a much more conscious effort to get away from the screen. That in itself caused me a bit of a problem, because if I’m not looking at a screen, what am I doing?
Here’s my way of thinking, I have been online in some shape or form for years. Mostly writing, from the Livejournal days to back when I was rolling in Amazon vouchers thanks to DooYoo product reviews. I dabbled in forums, I churned out a few articles for Hubpages, and eventually found my way to blogging. Question is, what do bloggers do when they’re not blogging? When they’re not taking and editing pictures, creating content, going to events or pulling their hair out over DA scores and broken links? Outside of spending time with friends and family, it started to dawn on me that I had zero other hobbies outside of blogging. I had zero screen free hobbies *insert screams of horror here*.
OK, that probably doesn’t sound too terrifying to some of you, but for me, it’s scarier than marionette puppets (and they are pee my pants level scary FYI). I feel like my eyes are constantly stuck to the screen, scrolling through Instagram for no reason or re-reading the same tweets from 5 minutes ago.
So, with an already too long introduction under the belt of this post, let’s get to the actual point of it. I need offline habits and hobbies in my life. And maybe you do too.
I’m going to take this on a month by month basis to see what offline habits and hobbies stick.
Here’s the offline habits and hobbies I’ll be giving a go this month!
When I was a kid I remember getting a calligraphy set for Christmas, with real fountain pens and fancy paper to practice on. I love it. I don’t remember being very good but I do remember losing running out of all the ink cartridges and never picking it up again. During a sick day YouTube auto play ON binge session, I ended up on a video about Bullet Journal handwriting practice - which then led me to Spencerian. Spencerian is a form of oh so fancy calligraphy script developed back in the 1800’s by Mr.Spencer. I picked up a set of 5 exercise books and a theory book for over a tenner on Amazon and so far, have really enjoyed working my way through them. I’m not exactly discovering an unknown talent, but I’m having fun practicing - and I’m not looking at any screens!
Yes, I have to pop a video on a screen to follow, but I am actively engaged throughout the video, so I’m counting this as an offline, almost screen-free hobby. Not only is this really helping me with my intention for the year - balance - but it’s giving me some much needed self care time on the mat. I’m toying with the idea of checking out some local classes too!
If you really want to switch off from the distraction of the screen, meditation is the way to go. I do follow guided meditations right now, but my eyes are closed and I’m not looking, or even thinking, about the screen. 10 minutes is about the max I can do before I start to fidget, but it’s a good start. Again, this is much needed time for personal self care. It’s ridiculous how much stress actually comes from all this time spent scrolling through social media. Whether your a blogger comparing the numbers or comparing your body to one that has potentially been edited to the impossible - it’s not good for you. End of.
My longest relationship has been with books. But I’ve found myself really neglecting them of late. Sure, I’ll put the kettle on, I’ll get all snug and comfy, I’ll open up my current read - and my phone will be right next to me. I can see it light up out the corner of my eye, so I’ll pick it up. I finish a chapter - I have a quick 15 minute scroll through Instagram. I put it down, read a line, OH, it’s lighting up again - down goes the book, up comes the phone. It’s bloody ridiculous. I used to spend hours between the pages, the end of the world could not have torn my attention away once upon a time. That’s the level I want to get back to. So it’s head down, book open and phone on the other side of the room. Let’s see how long I can resist it for when it’s not within arms reach - place your bets now!
Could you do with developing more offline habits and hobbies? I’ll report back next month on how these few went, if I keep them up and what I plan on trying next! Here’s to seeing if it’s possible to be an online content creator whilst spending limited time online someday!
Until next time,