5 Amazing Things You Can Learn Online- How to Turn Your Screen Time Into Productivity!
Today we are sharing with you all 5 amazing things you can learn online! Whether you are in lockdown or your area has resumed to normal, these are great skills you can learn in your free time online.
If you are feeling stagnant or unsure in your life or you want to cure that summertime boredom, use your free time to learn or to improve yourself! More often than not, people use their precious free time scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter. This has the great potential to start comparisons- which as we have said previously, is the root of a lot of anxiety, depression, and insecurity found in this technological age. Although social media is not inherently evil but if not used correctly (limiting time on apps, following positive and inclusive pages, not comparing yourself to others, not posting to get likes) you can find it ruining your mental health. We urge everyone to start smartly using social media, limit your screen time, and use the internet to research cool hobbies and learn skills!
So let’s get into it the list!
1. Learn a new language
Although not perfectly executed through the virtual platform- learning languages online is a great use of your time! From Duolingo to HelloTalk, there are new resources available to learn foreign languages. Learning languages have been proven to be great for your brain (especially the aged brain). If you have been out of school for a while, learning languages can not only be an impressive skill to gain but it can help you speak your native tongue more eloquently. Every time you learn a new language, you will instantly become more aware of how English is structured, new vocabulary words, and their pronunciation. Learning a new language is amazing to kick your brain out of auto-pilot and get it working again! Not to mention how cool you will look being able to say: 谢谢您，这个菜很好吃 when you go to a Chinese restaurant! Languages we recommend learning first are French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese (which are all quite similar) and then branch into some more difficult ones such as Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, or German. Apps and websites such as Duolingo, HelloTalk, Memrise, and Coursera are great places to start your language-learning journey! Don’t feel obligated to become the next polyglot but just start by learning some basic vocabulary and grammar every day for 5-15 minutes.
If you are not keen on learning a foreign language, you can try to improve your mother tongue! How many times have you heard a word in a movie and had to look it up on Google? Or how many times have you used a word and didn’t know if it was used correctly or if it was grammatically correct? Since many of us use auto-correct when texting, we have naturally lost our ability to spell! Horrible right? To build up your vocabulary (for example: stop using “like” as a filler word and “so much” or “literally” to describe everything!) and improve your spelling, We recommend you increase your reading (Victorian fiction is great) and use Memrise to grow your vocabulary, perfect your pronunciation, and improve your grammar!
2. Learn cursive
This one may seem random but learning cursive or excellent penmanship is a great quality to have. Look- we know we all text, type, and FaceTime BUT the small times when we do write, you don’t want your printing or cursive to look elementary. This is also an announcement to encourage you to write more! Start daily journalling or use a daily planner. As a side note: the therapeutic effects of writing are criminally underrated! The catharsis and relaxation you can achieve through journalling or writing poems and short stories are truly unmatched. You also can look back and observe your growth in your own words! Also, when you write cards or notes instead of sending messages, it adds such an intimate and classy touch to things.
Back on track. Cursive, when done correctly, is such a beautiful way to write! Calligraphy is also another interesting and cool skill to learn! When you write, like when you speak, you want to convey yourself as clearly AND pleasantly. Write more and be mindful when you write!
3. Learn how to create art
Creating art may be the most effective form of therapy. We all know how to doodle and put a paintbrush to a canvas but learning technique and colour theory is also quite enriching and informative. If you are a newbie, we recommend dabbling in multiple art forms such as online art, painting, sketching, watercolours, making music, playing instruments, dancing, singing, writing, photography, or film. Find what you love most whether it be one form or several and learn how to refine your techniques through online information.
If you are on the other end, we also recommend re-learning your old techniques and learning new ones! It would be a fantastic idea to make an art challenge for yourself.
I will paint twice a month for 6 months.
I will learn one new dance routine and create my own routine this month.
I will learn to play 2 new songs on the violin by July 1st.
Learn while having fun! I’ve seen people say, “healing as an adult is going back to what you enjoyed as a child” which may be very true. Put aside your pride and embarrassment and get your hands dirty and your body moving with some art. So many people feel as if they must be phenomenal in their execution to continue producing art- this is a toxic mindset! Sing badly, make ugly paintings, and dance awkwardly! This is not only about the production and execution but it’s about the peacefulness, confidence, and security that come from creation.
4. Learn about your casual interests
If you’re already online watching Facebook videos and Instagram stories, dedicate some of that time to learning about some of your interests. What do we mean by this? For example, if you are on Netflix all the time, you can start learning about film production and screenwriting. Follow YouTubers who discuss how to build a story in a film, the purpose of conflict in a story, the importance of good cinematography etc. This is not something you must do but it can broaden your knowledge of the media or art you love. Also, it becomes something you can talk about intelligently.
It’s to recognize a camera technique or editing style and its purpose in the storyline when you’re watching. If you love Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner, you can learn about the “It Girl” phenomenon, the history of fashion, runway models, fashion trends, clothing production, fast fashion, and brand history. On the other hand, you can learn more about fitness and human physiology, proper nutrition and diet culture, and the evolution of the “”””ideal””””” women physiology (and why we need to love our bodies as is).
This is not to say you can not just sit down and watch an episode of The Office without learning how they filmed the entire series but you can educate yourself about some of the things you love!
5. Learn Practical Skills
This may be the most or second most important on this entire list. You need to learn some practical skills! We can not stress this enough but at the risk of sounding like I’ve grown up in the ’50s, this generation NEEDS to learn how to do basic and self-sustaining things. What does this include? This means learning how to: hem clothing, remove ANY type of stain from clothing, cook more than one dish from memory, wash dishes and remove scum, properly clean a house and different surfaces, file taxes, change car tires, contact your car insurance in the case of an accident, do nails/ hair/ makeup, garden, mow a lawn, iron clothes, properly do laundry, do hair removal, clean your shoes (and different materials), wash duvets/ coats/ pillows, properly make cocktails, set a table, pay mortgage/ down-payments (and the rates), request loans, build your credit score (and why is it important), open high-interest savings account, ask for a reference, send a professional email, understand the stock and housing market, administer first aid and CPR, respond if someone has a heart attack, file a lawsuit, etc.
Many of these are things you may not need to do yourself but you should know how they are done! You would be shocked to know how many people can not do something as simple as sewing things back together! It is important to be able to execute certain things on your own because you won’t always have someone to ask or pay to do it for you (and you’ll also know if they are doing something wrong).
What new thing(s) are you planning to learn this month? Let us know in the comments!