The use of social media has been increased in the last few weeks which is leading to problems like social media addiction. But can we utilise this time for something fruitful? This article will help you to provide simple yet productive alternatives to social media during the COVID-19 Lockdown.
The COVID-19 Lockdown
Most of the countries across the globe are going through the COVID19 pandemic which has forced governments to implement lock-downs i.e. restricting people to go out of their houses. and in most of the countries, experts suggest that this lockdown will be long term. This is a great opportunity for all of us to spend time with ourselves or family, read something, learn some new skills and do various other things. But if we consciously observe ourselves, we will find that we are not utilizing this time in any of the above. Instead, we are wasting our time on our smartphones through various apps, primarily through social media during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Social Media during the lockdown
Social media is a great instrument during such an emergency, through which one can ask for help or even provide help to others. You can track new scientific findings, know more about the disease or gather some other information. But if we observe our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds, we will find only very few such informative posts. Most of the posts are of no use and instead of helping us are scaring us, giving various anxieties, which is worsening the situation for us.
But have you noticed that we are spending much more time on social media during the lockdown as compared to earlier days? This is not something very great!
Use of Social Media During the Lockdown?
The answer is a big ‘no‘. Now many will say that social media provides you information, updates, or entertains us, etc. But all the findings can be read on any news website in a more detailed manner. Actually, social media is not providing you with any updates, it’s simply providing you opinions and in the most frightening way. Most of the videos which we are watching and sharing are fake and out of context. Also, the overuse of social media is causing addiction in youth which can be challenging to tackle.
Social Media- Not a form of Entertainment
Most of us think that social media is a form of entertainment but this is wrong. Entertainment is not the means of getting tired and unfocused, it’s just the opposite i.e. to make you relax. When you scroll on your feed on any social media platform you become more distracted and more tired. So, social media should not be thought of as a medium to entertain yourself. Social media platforms are great ways to get distracted and more tired.
We must also know a very common fact that we become what we see/observe and think. Many people are developing symptoms like difficulty in breathing only because of seeing too much content related to that, causing hypochondriasis. Many of us are watching movies, documentaries, and various other content related to COVID-19 on social media, which is forcing us to think of the symptoms and sometimes we feel that we have got infected.
And even if we want to use social media we can use it for some time like an hour or 2. But are we even tracking how much we are using it?
6 Alternatives To Social Media
This is a fact that many of us always wished to take a long leave, so that we can relax at home and do all the pending tasks like completing a book, learning to play the guitar, or even simply relaxing and meditating. And here is the right opportunity! Yes, there is a little difference between our wish and current situation i.e. we are ‘forced‘ to do stay inside. Whenever something is imposed on someone there is always a sense of frustration and revolt. But we must understand the gravity of the situation and seek the best what we can from this moment.
Opportunity in Crisis
Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity“. Yes, this is a very tough time for many of us, some of us or someone dear to us might be unwell and probably many of us might be suffering from even a financial crisis. But still, we can do something creative and productive during this time instead of just spending time on social media. Something productive can be done as throughout history we never had such an opportunity. Ask your parents or grandparents whether they were forced to live inside their houses for such a long duration, the answer will be ‘no’. So we should utilise this opportunity and do something productive in this time instead of spending and wasting time on social media.
We can do various things during this period which can help us grow physically, mentally or even professionally:-
1. Learning a Professional Skill-You should be aware that the International Monetary Fund(IMF) has predicted that there can be a global recession in the coming time due to the global Pandemic of COVID-19. This recession will lead to a shrinking of GDPs of 170 nations which will cause unemployment in most of the countries.
So we will see a high competition in our professional lives in the coming months. Hence you can prepare yourself for the coming time by learning a new professional skill. This can be anything related to your profession or course, if you are in college, you can learn a new programming language, a certificate course in Finance, video editing, or anything else. There are various platforms which are providing online certificate courses including an MBA program at a very cheap price. You can also use platforms like Youtube for free of cost lessons.
There are various free certificate courses which are provided by some prestigious universities like Harvard and Oxford.
2. Discovering or Nurturing a Hobby– You can use this ample time in nurturing your hobby like painting, dancing, singing, etc. And if you haven’t discovered your hobby till this point of time, this is the right moment. Just try things which you always wanted to do, this can be making and uploading a video on Youtube, learning and playing an instrument, or even writing a blog on some topic.
3. Finishing a Book– Whether you are a bookworm or not you should consider finishing a new book in this lockdown period. This book can be of any genre like fiction, non-fiction, drama, or anything related to your profession. Reading a book will make you more creative, fresh and confident. You can use the internet for getting any ebook as getting a hardcopy of the books will be difficult during this period.
4. Cooking– Cooking is one of the most important skill one can acquire during this time. If you learn the art of cooking you can ensure that you don’t depend on someone else for your food, especially in such an emergency where most of the restaurants are closed.
5. Exercising– Everyone is advised to do Yoga or some indoor exercises that will relax you physically as well as mentally. Since we are not moving much it is important to exercise and keep ourselves fit. Exercising also improves immunity.
6. Meditation– Meditation is often regarded as a complex as well as a fancy phenomenon like chanting some mantra. But meditation simply means being conscious of ourselves. So in simpler words, one can meditate while doing anything by being conscious and aware of yourself. A very simple method of meditation is sitting or laying on you back and observing your breath.
Divide Your Time
In the end, we should acknowledge the fact that social media is not bad until we use it too much but it has many disadvantages if spend a long time in it. Instead of spending your entire time on social media, you should utilize your time in doing various productive things and in taking care of your body and mind.
There can be various other ways by which you can utilize your time in a productive and creative manner. You can suggest some more alternatives to social media in the comments.
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