Social Media vs. Boredom: Never Waste Your Time Again
Even though there are so many things available to us through just our fingertips these days, it’s only human nature for us to get bored. Fortunately, we have social network sites that allow us to broadcast our boredom to our friends and family, or even remedy the problem.
But where do we even start? There are many popular social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook , and each one has their own set of things that you can do to entertain yourself or even become more productive. Thankfully, we’re here to help.
When you think of social networking these days, the first thing that may pop up in your head is definitely Facebook. After all, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest people in the world, and he accomplished that by creating one of the biggest social network phenomena around.
However, with Facebook, you may think of it as just the place where your family and friends post random status updates or photos from their latest get-together. But it can be so much more than that, and even a great place to learn new things.
We all have various interests and hobbies, and chances are high that there’s a Facebook group for whatever it may be. You can look for groups just by typing in a key term in the Facebook search bar.
With Groups, you can think of them as mini-communities within Facebook. People in a group can communicate with other members of the group through posted discussions and photos, share related content, and even organize events and activities. It may seem like just another thing that may clutter up your News Feed , but Groups can be a valuable information resource, as well as another way to socialize with other like-minded individuals.
For example, when I got my Instant Pot , I found the official Instant Pot Community group (with over a million members) to be a great group for recipe sharing, tips, and tricks for my handy kitchen appliance. I’m also in another group for my car, and I’ve gotten ideas for improvements to make down the line, how to DIY certain things, and other discussions.
If you spend any time on Facebook, then joining some groups can be a productive way to pass the time.
Watch Facebook Video
When you don’t feel like being productive and just want to pass the time, then Facebook Watch is the answer. To access videos, just tap or click on the “Video” button in the tab bar or side menu.
In Facebook Watch, it consolidates all of the videos from friends and pages you follow. This is a lot easier than trying to find them in the News Feed, because let’s face it, the Feed sucks and is a mess.
You’ll also find sections like Most Talked About, What’s Making People Laugh, Popular Now, and more. There’s even suggested videos based on your viewing history, so it’s like a rabbit hole effect.
There’s even some Facebook original content that’s only available on Facebook Watch. It may not be the highest quality entertainment out there, but when you’re bored, it’s interesting enough.
Check the Marketplace
When we’re bored, some of us like to shop. Facebook’s solution for that is the Marketplace. Think of it as Facebook’s own version of Craigslist , and you can do it all without ever leaving Facebook.
As you browse the Marketplace, you can set the range for listings that you view, from two to 100 miles. Honestly, I like checking out whatever listings by default since I’m not looking for something in particular, but you can filter results by category and price. Item listings usually include at least one photo, and if you’re interested in something, you can click it to view more detail and contact the seller.
With a new year ahead of us, it may be time to get rid of junk you no longer need. Using Facebook Marketplace is a great way to do that. Facebook makes it easy to list an item for sale, so you can start going through your home and post things within minutes. Who doesn’t want to get some extra cash, am I right?
While you can always post your own photos (our guide to creating the perfect Instagram profile ), you may end up spending more time browsing than posting. After all, Instagram is a great place to find inspiration for your own future creative photos.
However, ever since Facebook bought it and changed the algorithm so that posts are no longer in chronological order, it can be a mess to go through. You may find yourself seeing posts from friends that you’ve missed from a few days ago, and then there are the sponsored ads. Boredom may occur. Fortunately, there’s plenty to see on Instagram.
See Your Friends Stories
Instagram likes to constantly remind you that it has the Stories feature because it’s a persistent ribbon at the top of your Instagram feed. While you certainly don’t have to make your own Stories (though we have some tricks you should know about ), it may be worth checking your friends’ Stories.
The ribbon at the top shows you which friends have posted a Story recently. Since Stories are only available for 24 hours, the ribbon shows you their Stories in chronological order from newest to oldest. Just tap on the one you want to look at, and then it will start going through all of the moments in the story before moving on to the next one.
Sometimes you’ll follow accounts that are starting a live stream. If you happen to catch them when they broadcast, live streams also show up in the Stories ribbon but have a “Live” tag. Watching these helps remedy the boredom issue.
Use the Explore Tab
As you’re on Instagram, you’ll probably end up liking many posts that you see in the timeline. Instagram uses this information to personalize the Explore tab for your tastes.
In Explore, Instagram shows you a Stories ribbon of top live streams and Stories based on your locations and interests. You’ll also see an assortment of images and videos that Instagram thinks you may like, and scrolling through is like a bottomless pit, as it loads indefinitely as you get to the bottom. When you’re bored, it’ll be easy to lose yourself here for a while.
Instagram also allows you to search in the Explore section as well. With the search bar, you can search by people, tags, and places. After you use the search feature, the “Top” section remains populated with both suggested and recent searches, letting you know if there’s anything new. When you search for tags, you can follow them specifically, which is nice when you’re looking for certain images or themes.
While Snapchat’s incredibly popular with the teens , that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy it too. In fact, it’s a fun network for anyone to be on who enjoys sharing their daily lives with others, and we even have some tips for new users , along with some tricks you may not have known about .
But if you’re bored, you may not have anything interesting at the moment to share with your Snapchat friends. Fortunately, Snapchat can still entertain without requiring your participation.
Discover New Content
Snapchat is actually full of great video content that you may not be aware of. To get to this content, just swipe to the left from the camera view, or tap Stories.
Your friends’ recent updates show up here as well, but underneath will be all of the Publisher Stories and Shows, along with Our Stories, created by the Snapchat team themselves. You can browse by Featured, Shows, Our Stories, or Daily Stories in Netflix-like ribbons.
Another option is to swipe left once more for Discover, which gathers up all of these video clips into a more magazine-style interface.
When you find a Story that you want to watch, just tap on it. If the publisher used multiple clips to create it, you can tap on the screen to navigate through them.
Step Up Your Selfie Game
If you’re on Snapchat, you probably care about selfies and aren’t there just to watch other videos. Even if you’re bored and have nothing else to do, trying to capture your next perfect selfie is one way to stay busy.
The best part about Snapchat is that the selection of filters and lenses changes daily . That means something new every day, and a lot of Snapchat’s augmented face lenses are downright wacky. When you’re bored, taking selfies just comes naturally with the territory, and Snapchat makes it unique and interesting.
It’s also worth noting that there are hidden Snapchat filters too, so keep an eye out for those.
When Twitter originally started in 2006, it was that social network where people posted pointless status updates. You know, the ones where you tell the world about that sandwich that you just ate for lunch.
Flash forward more than 10 years, and Twitter has evolved into something a bit different than its beginnings. Crafting the perfect tweet is an art in itself, and now it’s probably one of the first places online where news breaks .
Check Out Twitter Moments
If you use the Twitter website or official apps, then you’ll have access to Twitter Moments. With Moments, users get curated stories that showcase what’s happening on Twitter right now. Think of it as getting the news from Twitter, without having to follow individual news accounts.
When you view Moments, by default you end up in the “Today” section. This highlights the popular moments from the day and is a great way to get caught up on the things that everyone’s talking about. If you’re bored, then a peek here’s guaranteed to kill some time while learning something new.
If you’re more interested in checking out what’s hot in specific topics, there’s “News,” “Sports,” “Entertainment,” and “Fun.” Just diving into these sections is like a rabbit hole, so get ready to discover something new, useful, trivial, or pointless, depending on your perspective.
Other users (relatively few are from Twitter themselves) create Moments, but need high engagement to show up on the front page for everyone to see. The Moments displayed are also constantly changing, so if you’re still bored, check again for new content.
For those who have more time available, you can even make your own Moments . Just give it a title, description, and add in your own images, videos, and tweets. For tweets, you can throw in tweets you’ve already liked, or add by account, search, or adding a link.
You may or may not have heard of Reddit (our complete guide ), which describes itself as “a source for what’s new and popular on the web.” Essentially, Reddit boils down to being a collection of links on the internet, and one of the best ways to find interesting content.
If you’re bored, then Reddit is one of the best places on the web that you can go to. There’s plenty to see and do here, but let’s break it down.
As you know now, Reddit is a giant collection of links and media. The front page of Reddit shows what’s trending from the more popular Subreddits, such as r/funny and r/news. But the real fun with Reddit are the sub-communities that it consists of, also known as subreddits.
Think of subreddits as forums centered around a specific topic. In a way, it’s similar to Facebook Groups that were previously mentioned. These are communities of individuals who have a common interest and share things that they think others would enjoy, as well as join in discussions with one another.
Anyone can sign up for a Reddit account and submit a post, but you’ll need to submit it to a specific subreddit first. No matter what interests or hobbies you have, chances are there’s a Subreddit for it. Each community has their own set of guidelines and rules for new submissions and comments, so make sure to check them before you post.
Once you find some subreddits that match your needs, it’s easy to become absorbed into them and browse for hours.
Subreddits to Check Out
If you need some ideas on subreddits, here are some of my favorites:
- /r/Apple: A community for all Apple news, rumors, and discussion
- /r/gifs: Links to amusing, interesting, or funny gifs from the web
- /r/technology: Where Redditors share and discuss latest developments, happenings, and curiosities in the world of technology
- /r/aww: A Subreddit for cute and cuddly pictures that make you go “aww!”
- /r/EatCheapAndHealthy: Are you on a budget but want to eat healthier? This community can help you out with delicious meals that don’t break the bank
- /r/InstantPot: Where Instant Pot owners can discuss, debate, divulge, digress, and digest
- /r/Wallpapers: When you need gorgeous new desktop wallpapers, this Subreddit has a ton of good ones
- /r/videos: A place for video content of all kinds
Hopefully, those have given you a good start on thinking about the Subreddits you’d want to check out and subscribe to. We also found some of the kindest communities on Reddit too, in case you just want some positivity in your life.
Whether you’ve already subscribed to some subreddits or not, Reddit’s Random feature is a fun way to discover something new.
With Random, Reddit will randomly pick a subreddit for you. These random picks may lead to something weird, interesting, amusing, entertaining, or even educational — you just never know. If you don’t mind the element of surprise, then Random is a great way to get rid of boredom.
If you’re part of some subreddits but don’t know which one to visit, you can also use MyRandom. This option randomly picks one of the subreddits you’re subscribed to and takes you there. It’s a good way to rediscover a community that you may not have visited in a while.
Boredom can be a curse for some, but thanks to social networking sites, it can be easily remedied. One may think that there’s nothing left to do on these networks besides the usual, but there’s a ton of options out there, especially if you want to learn or discover something new.
What are your favorite things to do on social networks when you’re bored? Have any other boredom-killing tips for others? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: SIphotography/Depositphotos
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