10 things to do instead of death scrolling on your phone

FISHERMAN’S COVE- Tidepooling in Laguna Beach with Tyler Pearce. (Emma Barbernell)

Emma Barbernell | Writer & Photographer

February 22, 2024

As phones have become accessible to everyone, people have grown much more dependent on their devices. While technology does inform us and advances our access to knowledge, it is damaging when used at a high rate, especially in younger minds. Personally, I find myself on my phone scrolling for hours on end, but this year I wanted to reduce my screen time and find some alternatives. Here is something to do when it feels as though there is nothing to do.

First, our beaches. This is niche to our community, those living in Orange County. Many take advantage of the fact that we live right next to the most gorgeous beaches in the country. People vacation here. I suggest, when bored, go visit your local beach. There are so many activities to do: tanning when the sun’s out, going for a swim, tide pooling, picnicking, snorkeling (Fisherman’s cove or Diver’s cove in Laguna have clear water), surfing, or taking a beach walk (North Beach or Trails in SC) with a pet, friend, or yourself. Even if you don’t know how to surf, more often than not, someone familiar does, and learning from them is a perfect way to learn a new hobby and get closer with a friend. Junior Kael Becker shared with me that he loves “hiking, surfing and being in nature” in times when he is away from his phone.

Next, exercising. It’s proven that working out stimulates brain chemicals and leaves a happier and more relaxed feeling. There are so many forms of physical activity to choose from, such as simply running or visiting the local gym. Even if without a pass to the gym, you can try a free trial at both LifeTime and 24 Hour Fitness. I’ve been really into rock climbing specifically, as it’s a great way to work out, push your limits, and try something new. Hangar 18 is a local Bouldering gym that has intro classes for $30. Or, if already educated in how to rock climb: a day pass is $18. Struggling with not knowing how to start in the gym is common, but both gyms and workout studios have classes to attend. Places like CYCLEBar, YogaSix, and GritCycle all have challenging and fun classes to try. No money? Nature is free. Take a hike.

Reading. Today, many don’t read because they find it hard to focus or find a story they actually like. We have a local library with thousands of books to choose from that are completely free. There are also many bookstores downtown, and an easily accessible option is lending one from an English teacher. Reading reduces stress, improves sleep, and is a great way to spend time offline and enrich the brain. Some books I last read were Normal People by Sally Rooney and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It is a great way to get out of the house: take a book and a blanket to a nearby park (Pines Park or Salt Creek). PRO TIP: invest in a hammock.

Do something creative. Collaging, painting or drawing is the perfect way to pass time and express personal creativity. To collage grab a sheet of paper/cardboard, scissors, tape and a few magazines or newspapers. Literally whatever is available. Inspiration can be found on Pinterest. Fired Up in San Clemente has pottery pieces that are customizable and paintable.

Curate music. Whether it is Spotify or Apple music, making a playlist for the current mood is always an option. It’s a fun way to spend time and find new music. Musically inclined? Learn or practice a new instrument. To those who have a record player player at home, go out and buy a new vinyl. Thrift stores have them for dirt cheap or our local record stores: Moldy Toes or Power Plant Records sell fantastic vinyl for the right price. Music is timeless.

COMMUNITY GOODS- Long line at an LA coffee shop. (Emma Barbernell) 

Make a card/letter for a loved one. People usually only get cards on Birthdays or holidays, but I think that should be changed. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion to make someone feel extra special or express personal feelings.

Go check out that new coffee shop, restaurant, or art museum that has created a lot off buzz in the community. No more excuses, make time for it and experience a new menu or art. Wanting to pop the OC bubble and venture out? Take a trip to our neighboring cities, like Los Angeles or San Diego. In LA, I just tried Community Goods and Cafe Nido, both cafes are delicious and have great atmospheres.

Clean. A clean space is a clean mind. Whether it is just a room, car, or whole house, it helps. Do a deep clean and organize and I promise after you will feel 10x more put together and successful.

Watch a new movie. Either at home or at the movie theatre. Letterboxd is an app that people rate films on, and has recommendations. Some days when I don’t know what to watch I check on there and pick out a new movie and then rate it. It’s a fun way to interact with others and watch new or classics. Sophomores Sofia Lobbezoo and Martina Curbera told me the last movie they watched together was “Notebook” and they recommend it to the “romantic movie lovers.”

Cook or bake a new recipe. Ask a parent, friend, or go to the library and check out a cook book. Be productive and make something yummy to share with loved ones.

Don’t let technology rot brains. Be productive in all aspects of life.

About Emma Barbernell 10 Articles
Emma Barbernell is a junior and first year newspaper photographer and writer at SCHS. She prides herself in being a thrift master and spends her time dirtying her hands in the Goodwill bins. On an off day you might catch her looking like Adam Sandler, or if you're lucky an off duty model. You can also find her low balling questionable resellers at any of the local flea markets. When she's not getting deals you can find her long boarding at San-O, rock climbing, collecting vinyl, cooking, arguing with her parents, lifting, hammocking with her dog, and learning guitar from Lindsay Coulson. After high school, she plans to see the world and take pictures while doing it.

1 Comment on 10 things to do instead of death scrolling on your phone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.