June 1, 2015

It’s no secret that the majority of Americans are spending a lot of time online. While some of the time we spend on the Internet is productive, there’s a lot of it that’s not—and it’s crowding out some of our higher value offline activities, according to research from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

In a recent NBER study, each minute of online leisure time is correlated with 0.29 fewer minutes on all other types of leisure—with about half of that coming from time spent watching TV and video, 0.05 minutes from (offline) socializing, 0.04 minutes from relaxing and thinking, and the balance from time spent at parties, attending cultural events, and listening to the radio. While these may seem like really small increments of time, they do add up over the course of weeks and months. As such, you may want to consider replacing some of your offline time to do the things that really make life worth living. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

There’s no doubt that the Internet has transformed our lives and, for the most part, it’s been for the better. However, like most things, balance is the key. Take time daily—or at least weekly—to do some of the activities suggested above or to incorporate some of your own favorite offline pursuits. Chances are, you’ll find that doing so will improve the overall quality of your life.

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