Never did I think I would make a Buzzfeed-style “listicle” on this personal blog, but sometimes they are just plain practical. And in general, lists are great. My friend Felicia and I were talking the other day about how we’ll write some fun things on our To do lists, like “doodle mindlessly” or “eat chocolate,” next to all the stuff we have to do. Sometimes I even write things I’ve already done so I can just cross it off.
This list gives a bunch of alternatives to your patterns of Internet and social media consumption. Lately I’ve tried to break my habit of automatically typing “faceboo…” into the Internet search bar when I open my computer. So many wasted hours I spend clicking on things that I don’t truly care about and will probably forget. Being more intentional about my time online, I’ve honestly started appreciating how cool of a tool the Internet is. The experience is different when you’re not mindlessly consuming the news feed. Here’s some ideas for others who want to maximize their enjoyment of this wonderful technology.
Watch some live performances of your favorite artists
Like the news feed, sometimes I consume music in the background of my life so much that I don’t really appreciate it like I used to. I don’t listen carefully, I almost don’t listen at all. I’m thinking about other things. I’m working on things. When I was high school, I was a committed a full-fledged music nerd, and I remember laying on my bed for hours after school just listening to a new album and focusing on the way it sounded, what it was saying, how it made me feel. I don’t exactly have the time or emotional stamina for that anymore, but lately I’ve been listening to some of my favorite artists’ acoustic live sessions before bed. It’s also cool to watch them play and be reminded that this all came from some human’s brain. I’ve had some profound moments of relaxation while listening to songs that sound just a little different live, but are so familiar. Candles and tea recommended obviously. Also can we talk about how Cat Stevens looks in this performance? He’s so into it. #celebritycrush…just kidding, kind of.
2. Find some good blogs you actually want to read
As a journalism major in college, people always talked about reading blogs and starting blogs and knowing which blogs were “big.” I never really got into it. I had my weird Tumblrs that no one knew about and I journaled, but I didn’t have the discipline or honestly the desire to have my own “brand.” I still don’t really, haha, this is sort of where I dump my thoughts. Now that I’m not trying to read blogs because I feel like I need to, I’ve found some great ones that speak to my interests. I started getting into blogs and video blogs when I was briefly vegan in early 2016 (3 months! RIP). I love to cook and there are some really fun personalities who get creative about vegan cooking. I still watch and read vegan blogs.
In this stage of my life I’m doing a lot of dreaming and planning for things that may or may not ever happen. It’s lead me to some interesting place on the Internet, that’s for sure. I read this blog, The Morning Fresh, a few weeks ago. This girl is literally so brave, and really innovative in the way she lives her life. She is a travel writer who gets sponsored by outdoor gear companies. With the money she tricked out this awesome yellow van and lived in it for a year while she road-tripped around the country. She has some great stories, guides for pretty much any state you want to visit, and practical advice on sleeping in a Wal Mart parking lot. Plus, she’s a climber, so she has a lot of helpful posts on the subject. Google some of the more niche things you are into, you might find a whole community of bloggers writing about it.
3. Write a long email to a friend or family member
Emails are probably going to become the new snail mail in another decade. I have a lot of nostalgia for weird email addresses. I have like ten, probably. Including honeymuffin1315 and glittercritter12 I think. Anyway, I think it’s really fun to write emails that aren’t work-related. Nobody in my generation really does that regularly anymore. It’s like a little present waiting in someone’s Inbox, and you can even include memes.
4. Look up how to do something and actually do it in that moment.
I saw this really cool light fixture at a restaurant called Open Society in Indianapolis last week, and it looked rustic in a way that made think I could possibly make it if I wanted one. So I went on a Pinterest rampage and of course, there was a DIY article about a light fixture almost identical to the one I saw. I confess I didn’t go out to Lowes and start making it. But I wish I did… 🙂 We can learn a new trade or skill in so much less time than we used to be able to, it’s crazy.
5. Research what’s going on in your town and make plans to check it out.
I’m not really a downtown local so I don’t know much about Indianapolis as a city. I was in a suburban bubble of Indianapolis and didn’t venture out except for when my family spontaneously moved out of the country twice. Ha. Anyway, one way I familiarized myself with the area was going online, searching music venues or coffee shops. I looked at a lot of event calendar on websites of bars, etc. Most cities have a “visit” website, or you can always check out your local news website.