What to do on your phone? App alternatives to social media

girl in the dark on her phone

Have you deleted or thought about deleting your social media apps recently? Do you get lost in the comparison trap that sometimes can stem from time on social media? Or maybe you watched the Social Dilemma on Netflix and immediately deleted all your social media apps because – who knew. Well needless to say, I think the idea of removing something that has become such a big part of our day is pretty intimidating. So I’ve been on a search to find good, real life alternatives to social media to fill my time. 

Most articles I’ve found that list alternatives to scrolling on social media apps like Instagram, suggest for you to clean your room or be more productive. And they’re right, that would be a much better use of my time! But sometimes what I’m really looking for is something to just occupy my time for a few minutes on my phone. This post covers some great alternatives to social media that don’t include those “clean your room” type of tasks.

Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of us (including myself) have formed some pretty additive behaviors when it comes to social media. I mean where does the time go? With more social media apps seeming to come out all the time, it can truly consume you and your day. So what the heck are you supposed to do with that time instead? Try some of these alternatives to social media and let me know what you think!

On the phone alternatives to social media

Get in the know with the news

The Skimm

Are you like me and just read the main headlines so you can stay in the know with friends and family? Or maybe you like to read all about what’s going on in the world but you don’t have enough time to read every article?

With this app you not only get to “skim” the headlines but when you click on a story, the article is concise and to the point too. It’s a brilliant way to get your news fill for the day.

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Flipboard*

Think of a news app with a hint of Pinterest and you have the Flipboard app. What’s unique is you get to pick the categories that you’d like the app to show. It’s not just local and national news but includes a bunch of magazine and other big name article producers like BuzzFeed on the feed. 

This app is non-social media gold for me because you get to scratch that itch of scrolling mindlessly, like you do on Instagram or Facebook. Being able to scroll through a bunch of articles that include interesting pictures, satisfies that need to scroll, making it a perfect alternative to social media.

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Learn a new language

Duolingo*

Got big dreams to travel the world or just feel like learning a new language? This game is a super entertaining way to get your learn on. I used to not like that some of the games required you to have sound on (because sometimes you just can’t listen you know?) but they have since improved the app to allow you to skip those lessons if needed.

Also, this app has 1 million+ reviews with 4.7 stars. Feels pretty legit to me.

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Babbel

I haven’t tried this app yet but I feel like I am constantly seeing ads for it these days. It’s newer to the language learning app scene but that doesn’t mean it can’t get the job done! From the descriptions and screenshots, it seems to have more of a traditional course vibe, compared to the game like atmosphere of Duolingo.   

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Work on mental strength

In Love While Parenting*

Created by a non-profit, this app is completely free and gives relationship advice based on science. The idea is that by understanding the science behind how we behave/act, we can improve our relationships with our partners and children. The intro lesson felt kind of cheesy to me and the videos have an infomercial feel to them but I can honestly say after the second (and third, etc) lessons I felt like I learned something valuable. There are quizzes on each lesson to, to really help you understand the topic.

 It has 5 star ratings on both the App Store and Google Play which feels kind of unheard of for an app these days.

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Calm - Meditation and Sleep Stories

We could all use a little more Calm in our lives. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced in meditation practices, this app caters to your needs. It’s got guided meditations, a ridiculous amount of sleep stories to help you fall asleep, breathing exercises and a daily meditation to get your anxiety/stress levels down for the day.

This app won Apple App of the Year in 2017 for a reason, just sayin’. 

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Other fun, educational ideas

DailyArt - Your Daily Dose of Art History Stories*

Any art history majors or fans of classic, modern and/or contemporary art? Each day, this app feeds you a new art masterpieces to learn about. You learn about the artwork, the artists and other interesting stories from the artwork’s era. For something a little different & educational, I suggest this app!

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Elevate - Brain Training*

Elevate is the only app I have ever payed for, no lie. There is a free version but I found myself using it so often, it felt like money well spent if I wasn’t going to be on social media all the time. The app helps you to get better with math, reading, writing and all the variations of those topics. You learn everything in a game format which is fun because I’m always trying to beat my high score. 

Elevate has helped me get better with my listening skills and being able to do math in my head better, for things like tipping. Big fan, highly recommend.

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Codeacademy Go*

Before I started my career in programming, I was playing on sites like Codeacademy. For those looking for a taste of how to program in a certain language, Codeacademy is a great resource and now you can easily access your training on the app. The coding exercises give you instant responses as to whether or not your answer was right so you know if you are on the right track. Pick a language and learn some programming basics!

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*No in-app purchases needed

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