What Could You Do With 4-6 Hours Of Free Time?


Jernej Furman courtesy of flickr

Handwriting Text Free Time Loading. Concept meaning Forecasting the future event

Drew Valentino , Staff Writer

With classes, assessments, extracurriculars, sports, arts, and so much more, it’s no surprise girls develop a caffeine addiction at the young age of 13. Mayfield girls, just like all high schoolers, are so overwhelmed with work, you practically see it in their eyes every morning. The stack of coffee cups in the trash cans alone must account for something. 

It’s a fact that one thing we all want is time. Yet, if time is fleeting, why is it that 41% of Mayfield students spend 4-6 hours on their phones daily? That’s 4-6 hours spent, scrolling? Relaxing? Sure. 

Entertained? Sometimes…  


But when Mayfield girls were asked how social media made them feel, 53% said social media was a negative experience for them. With so many things going on, 4-6 hours draining yourself on social media can distract you from accomplishing things you really want to do. So, to help you make a shift from possible addiction to moderation, here is a list of things you could do if you decided to stay off of social media for even an hour less than usual. 


As we develop as teenagers into adults, sleep is something vital to our growth and health. “teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours”. 

Sleep is beneficial because it helps maintain your body function, your energy throughout the day, and your moods. “Teens need more sleep because their bodies and minds are growing quickly” 

If you’re struggling to maintain a balanced sleep schedule, it may help to turn off your phone an hour earlier and prioritize the long-term benefits of sleep to the hours spent on social media. 

Le Anh Metzger stated that if she didn’t use social media, she would definitely try to get more sleep. “I get six hours on average, but I’d love to get 7½” 

Pursue hobbies:  

Hobbies are a great way to delve into your interests. With an extra hour or two, you can pick up a book, maybe get into baking, or even spend time with others.

With an extra 4-6 hours, you can get halfway through the first book of Twilight, bake a cake, iced and all, watch up to three movies with friends, or even take a 10-mile hike depending on your trail. 

“I find myself so jam-packed with work that during my downtime I reach for my phone. But if I got out of this habit, I would love to use my downtime reading,” said Arianne Rising ’23

Lucy Martinez, a senior who struggled with negative feelings that social media produced, took action to delete all social media for a few weeks to see how it affected her. 

I am more productive without it and I’m a lot less antsy,” Martinez said. “I also feel that I have a lot more time on my hands to do things I really enjoy like reading and writing,” she said,  “hobbies that I often set aside so that I could scroll through social media.”

Give back to the community

An hour spent on social media could be an hour spent making as many as 20 sandwiches and snacks for Loaves and Fishes. Even if it seems small, making a meal for someone can change their life, and yet an hour on social media may leave one dissatisfied, either wanting more or wanting less. 

With the holidays around the corner, you could also consider spending time giving back to those around you. Maybe making your teachers a card, or making that present you never got for your mom. 

A great way to feel fulfilled is seeing others happy, and being the instigator of that. If you took one hour away from social media, you could spend it feeding others, or being a facilitator of happiness. 

Explore your backyard: trails 

If you live in the LA area, there’s no shortage of trails in your area. There’s practically a lifestyle created around it. Take some time to clear your head and walk around your neighborhood, or find a hike to pursue on the weekends. Exploring the outdoors is a great way to reconnect yourself with nature, and even release endorphins through exercise. 

Overall, taking a break from social media could alleviate stress, and help clear your head.

One app that helps keep consumers focused and environmentally conscious is called Forest. As you stay focused on a task, the app plants a tree. If you use other apps, the tree will not be planted. 

This method, along with others, is a great way you can begin your journey to reduce phone usage, and to be more present with activities or people. All of these activities and ideas are a great way to get out of the slump of scrolling, and into the mindset of self-care and hobbies.