Tag Archives: addiction

The Internet is Built to Distract You

The internet is the greatest distraction engine the world has ever made.

Endless videos on Youtube. A constant stream of pictures from Instagram. Just one more episode on Netflix. Memes and political rants from people you went to high school with on Facebook. Fake stories on Reddit. Blue checks being sarcastic on Twitter. Video games played with thousands or even millions of people through Steam.

And let’s not get started on the adult side of the internet.

All of this endless content is combined with algorithm upon algorithm, designed to keep you scrolling longer and make you addicted to their services.

Yes, addicted. The modern internet is designed to make you an addict. Constant entertainment. Constant novelty. Constant distraction. If you let it, the internet will make it basically impossible to do productive work, or anything else that requires focused attention. We’re amusing ourselves to death, with all of the consequences that implies.

Use the internet for a few purposes: educating yourself, making money, connecting with others, and self-improvement. Avoid the endless cycle of addictive entertainment as much as possible. Do other things besides stare at a screen for 12 hours a day. Go outside. Talk to your family. Play with your pet. Read a book. Make money.

You were not born to browse the internet. You were born to live, and thrive.

Alright, back to Reddit!

101 Hobbies and Activities to Replace Gaming

Let’s say you spend a lot of time playing video games (or some other bad habit)…

…too much time playing video games. Let’s say it is interfering with other parts of your life, and that you worry you suffer from video game addiction. Let’s say you’re trying to cut back – and want to replace video games with something else.

With that in mind, I made a list of hobbies that can be used to replace video games for this hypothetical video-game-addict (sorted into a few general categories). If this is you, or are trying to replace some other bad habit, be sure to pick and choose.

[Keep in mind that some of these are difficult or impossible in the middle of a pandemic.]

Education and Skills – Anything to do with learning more, or improving a specific skill.

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Listening to podcasts
  4. Documentaries
  5. Public Speaking
  6. Debate
  7. Learn a second language
  8. Learn memory techniques
  9. Take classes (online or offline)
  10. Programming
  11. Trade Skills (Woodworking, Metalworking, Crafting, etc.)
  12. Learn how to give massages (your partner will thank you)
  13. Astronomy and Stargazing
  14. Lockpicking
  15. Pursuit Driving/Advanced Driving

Art and Creative Expression – Anything to do with creating something new, or experiencing art made by other people.

  1. Blogging
  2. Start a podcast
  3. Video editing
  4. Graphic Design
  5. Photography
  6. Photoshop
  7. Listening to music
  8. Learn to play a musical instrument
  9. Writing music
  10. Singing
  11. Improv and Stand-up comedy
  12. Poetry
  13. Acting and theater
  14. Sewing and making clothes
  15. Fashion
  16. Drawing
  17. Painting
  18. Sculpting and carving
  19. Origami

Social Life and Relationships – Anything involving meeting new people or forming new relationships.

  1. Reconnect with old friends
  2. Join a club
  3. Start a club
  4. Go to festivals and conferences
  5. Volunteering and activism

Money and Finance – Anything to do with making money or learning how to make money.

  1. Learn marketing
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  3. Start a business or side gig
  4. Become a coach or trainer
  5. Flipping/Ebay selling
  6. Investing

Health and Fitness – Anything to do with moving your body or improving your physical well-being.

  1. Sleep (no seriously, you probably need more)
  2. Martial Arts
  3. Bodybuilding
  4. Weightlifting
  5. Rock Climbing
  6. Group fitness
  7. Join a solo sport (Bowling, Golf)
  8. Join a team sport (Basketball, Volleyball)
  9. Parkour
  10. Running
  11. Biking
  12. Yoga
  13. Acroyoga
  14. Tai Chi
  15. Dancing
  16. Skateboarding
  17. Skydiving and Base Jumping
  18. Boating (Kayaking, Sailing, River Rafting)
  19. Diving
  20. Surfing
  21. Swimming
  22. Paintball
  23. Shooting
  24. Archery
  25. Wilderness and survival training

Games – Anything to do with games other than video games.

  1. Board games
  2. Tabletop games
  3. Rubix Cubes and puzzles
  4. Card games
  5. Chess and Go

Home and Garden – Anything to do with improving your home, or making the space you live in your own.

  1. Decluttering
  2. Cleaning
  3. Organizing
  4. Redecorating
  5. Plant a garden
  6. Cooking and baking
  7. Digitize your life (Lifelogging, Build a Second Brain)
  8. Architecture and design
  9. DIY skills

Lifestyle and Traveling – Anything to do with new experiences and seeing new places.

  1. Visit the library
  2. Visit museums and galleries
  3. Visit a restaurant you’ve never been to before
  4. Visit a town or city you’ve never been to before
  5. Travel to another country
  6. Camping
  7. Hiking
  8. Birdwatching
  9. Start a collection

Wisdom and Reflection – Anything to do with improving your mindset, or turning knowledge into lessons.

  1. Meditation
  2. Lucid Dreaming
  3. Start a journal or diary
  4. Make a bucket list (or Impossible List)
  5. Practice gratitude every day
  6. Reflect on life lessons you’ve learned
  7. Teach others what you’ve learned

There are literally hundreds of other hobbies you could pick up – but there is one activity that is more important than any of the above:

  1. Play the game of life to win – You only have one life. You can’t restart, or do things over. Wherever possible, avoid games where you learn nothing or win nothing in the end. Make your own game, and play to win.