21 amazing alternatives to scrolling Facebook

It’s the beginning of 2018, and we’re all trying to be better people.

Get rid of the extra noise you can process the information you need.

During that super weird week between Christmas and New Year’s, I felt this pull to get back to work, to be productive, and to get out of my holiday pants (basically extra stretchy yoga pants that have never done any actual yoga) and get back to life.

But I couldn’t get back to life yet. The kids were still off school, I had 20 pounds of chocolate to get rid of (eat), and my brain was just not ready. Any social media activity I had during this time was pretty passive anyway.

You know the kind. The mindless scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. I skipped a few days on Facebook and Instagram, my two social media drugs of choice.

I was bored.

My husband and I had a conversation about social media the other morning.

The conversation turned into a rant. We wondered what the actual data and activity volumes would be on social media if we all stopped posting filtered photos of ourselves doing un-interesting stuff, gym check-ins, cat videos, latest handbag purchases, completely unintelligent rants and other mindless fuckery.

Imagine a Facebook feed filled with creative, thoughtful expressions of our intelligencean abundance of inspiration and creativity. 

Then I wondered, if I’m bored by my Facebook feed, I'm the boring one. I can only change what I can control, and that's what I do with my time.

You don’t have to quit Facebook. It’s something I’ve become more mindful of, especially every January.

Even if the only thing you ever post on social media is cat videos, there’s no judgment from me!

I wrote this to give you some inspiration. Offer up some ideas of things you could do other than scrolling Facebook. But only if you want to.

And please, don’t treat this list as a checklist, trying to do all these things. These are just some ideas to create some new habits that don’t involve mindless scrolling.


  1. Read a book. Not sure where to start? Check out features at your library, or the unfinished books on your bookshelf. Feel free to check out mine

  2. Take a walk. Yes, even if it’s cold. It was 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celcius) today when I walked the dog. It was only 15 minutes, but still nice to get outside.

  3. Write a thank you note. For one of the gifts, you got over the holidays, or to a friend or family member just for being awesome. Here's some free inspiration. 

  4. Send fan mail. Send a letter or email to one of your internet or television heroes. You might think they get boatloads of mail every day. They might not get any.  

  5. Watch TV. I know, one mindless activity to another, but the key here is ONLY to watch TV. No double-screening (scrolling Facebook while watching TV).

  6. Go to the movies. Leave your phone in the car and get the biggest tub of popcorn money can buy.

  7. Listen to a book. I listen to books in the car, when I’m getting dressed in the morning, and when I’m making dinner. I love Audible for this.

  8. Find a new podcast. I love to listen when I’m doing mindless tasks.

  9. Make art. It doesn’t need to be gallery-worthy. I’m loving one of my kids’ presents, the Buddha board. On it, you paint with water and the picture disappears in minutesSo therapeutic!

  10. Journal. I didn’t journal for years because I thought I had nothing interesting to say. You know what, my morning pages are super dull and that’s cool!

  11. Purge some clutter. You know you’ve got it. Read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you need some inspiration.

  12. Wander a local museum or shop. You don’t need to spend money, just wander around.

  13. Go for a drive. Take a new route, visit a cafe on the other side of town just ‘cause.

  14. Talk to people. I feel a little sad this needs to be on a list. Instead of scrolling Facebook while you wait for your triple-shot, extra hot cappuccino, look up, say hi to the person making your coffee. A simple “Hey, how’s it going?” is all you need to muster up to make someone’s day.

  15. Create a power playlist. This is the modern version of the mixtape. You know the kinds of songs that make you feel like Rocky? Put all those tunes in one place, play your playlist in the morning and slay your day.

  16. Make something. Build a thing, do a craft, build a damn birdhouse, paint a chair. Just use your hands.

  17. Make a start, stop, continue list. What are some things that you want to start doing? Going to the gym? Drinking tea? What about things to stop doing? And what’s working well for you that you want to keep doing? Writing it down gives it more power.

  18. Clean out your inbox. You don’t need to get to inbox zero, but you could enjoy some newsletters or unsubscribe to some that no longer bring you joy. Even if it’s mine.

  19. Look at all the free PDFs you’ve downloaded this year. Delete ones you know you’ll never complete and keep the others in a special folder.

  20. Start a blog. Even if it’s just some random thoughts and you’re not ready to publish yet.

  21. Take a free online class. Creative Live has many classes that are free if you attend live, and more paid ones if you prefer to watch on demand.  

I'd love to hear about your ideas if you have more. Even if you sit and do nothing (without feeling guilty of course), you might be doing your brain a favor. 

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Jacqueline Fisch