This month at Postconsumers, we’re really helping you to distance yourself from the consumer machine by giving you a hundred things that you can do instead of watch television. In the internet era, the amount of time that people spend actually interacting with other people is constantly decreasing. With actual social time at such a premium, we dedicated today’s list of ways to get out from behind the television to activities that will actually help you get face time with real, living, breathing people. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: social time does not count if you’re all staring at a screen!
41. Join (or Start) a Book Club.
Ah, the majesty of books appears even stronger when you compare it to the idea of watching television. But today’s list isn’t about improving your mind. It’s about getting more social. Books are always better when you talk about them with people – or when you use them as an excuse to talk about other things with people! If you’re not aware of a book club in your area, gather up your friends and start one. Just always remember – no book club happens without a bottle of chilled chardonnay. Not sure where to find other like-minded individuals for your book club? Try posting signs in your neighborhood!
42. Take a Class.
We don’t care what kind of class you take! Choose cooking, belly dancing, pottery, painting, math, philosophy…the list is pretty endless. The key is that you’ll meet people in that class who obviously have a shared interest in the topic matter. Slingshot that into coffee gatherings, field trips and more. Or just enjoy each other’s company in class. You get to learn something new and interact with people who are clearly in the same mindset as you.
43. Join a MeetUp Group.
Yes, we often tell you to be wary of too much time on the internet. Also, just to be clear, interacting on message boards or forums doesn’t quite count as getting you away from the television. We’d really like to see you get away from most screens. That said, we think that MeetUp.com is one of the true bright spots of the internet. You can find a MeetUp group in your area for just about any interest or shared passion that you can imagine. Of course, the closer you are to a population center in a city, the more likely you are to find a match. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find great MeetUp opportunities everywhere. Get online and try it out – and honestly we can’t believe we just directed you to get online!
44. Volunteer And You’ll Meet Like Minded Individuals.
We’ve mentioned volunteering in a previous article as a way to stay away from the television while also doing good for the world. It’s also a great way to ditch the screen and get social. When you volunteer at a group-oriented project like a soup kitchen, after school program, community garden or Habitat for Humanity, you’ll find yourself interacting with people who clearly share your belief that it’s important to positively impact the world around us. So not only are you being social, you’re being social with the best kinds of people!
45. Jump Into the Dating Pool (But Only If You’re Single!)
Chances are that if you’re presently single and not in the dating pool, it’s because you loathe being in the dating pool. But let us ask you this: As awful as dating can be and often is, which is more likely to lead you to happiness later? Is it sitting in front of a television screen or is it getting out there and fighting the brave fight to find your soul mate? If you answered television, then we probably can’t help you and it may be time for some therapy! We joke! But dating can also lead to some great friends and some unbelievable stories that you’ll laugh at later when you find your true mate. It’s daunting, we know. But get out there and search for your true love. And no, a good date is not watching TV together.
46. Book a Tour Vacation.
There’s no need to keep your social activity local (except, perhaps budget and resources, which we completely understand). Booking a tour of a foreign destination – or even a North American one – with a tour group isn’t just a senior citizen activity. We’ve done it and seen plenty of younger and middle-aged people on the tour. In fact, some of our favorite friends are friends we’ve met on travel tours. You’ll be exposed to people from all types of cultures and walks of life, and you’ll see some amazing sites. If it’s in your budget, we recommend it!
47. Attend an “Activist” Meeting.
We don’t really want to use the word activist here, but we’re at a loss for a replacement word so bear with us! What we’re suggesting is that you find a cause that you care about and a group of people who advocate for that cause and get involved. It can be to support peace in warring areas, to raise awareness and abolish violence or poverty, to fight GMOs, the list is so long that we’d have to devote an entire article to it! Do you have something you believe in strongly? Find the existing group of people who also believe strongly in it and get involved. Action trumps TV, and social trumps solo when it comes to raising awareness.
48. Go to Church (Whatever You Define That As).
The only exception here is if you define church as meditating by yourself in a forest! While that’s a superb way to get away from the television screen, it’s not a very good way to meet people and be social. If you believe in the value of church but haven’t found yourself attending in years due to busy schedules and, ahem, prime time television, you may find more than one benefit to heading back!
49. Attend a Sporting Event.
What is the greatest event type if you want to find a large group of people all joined together in a common rush of joy (or agony)? It’s a sporting event. Friends are quickly made in the name of fandom and after-game beers are liberally shared. Grab a pal, head to a game. Or, head to a game and find a new pal. Either way works!
50. And Our Favorites: Community Gardens and Charity Run/Walk Training Groups.
We didn’t want to give these two individual list items since we’ve mentioned them both in previous articles. However, both are great ways to get out from behind the screen and get social. Working at your community garden not only has you interacting with others, it also has you growing and getting access to healthy fresh food and the outdoors. Joining up with a training group for a charity run or walk helps you meet new people and also gets you in shape. There’s a reason these made more than one list in our hundred ways to avoid television. It’s because both have so many benefits!
Those are our fourth set of ideas for staying away from the television. Need or want more? Continue on to part five, where we focus on ideas to help save the planet.
Did we miss a social way to avoid the television that you’d like to share? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.
Photo Credit: Nana B Agyei via Flickr