How has your time shifted in the past five years?

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Social Media | 4 comments

Social media. Video games. The NY Times Crossword app.

There are more distractions out there than ever. It sure seems like a few years ago people started reading fewer books and spending a whole lot more time on their phone.

But then, at least anecdotally in my circles, there’s been a backlash to social media and now people are devoting more time to screen-less hobbies like nature and cooking.

How has the way you spend your time shifted? Are you spending more or less time with books? What about social media?

For me, I started spending a huge amount of time on social media five years ago, but have mostly weaned off. Now my time is basically divided between books (reading, writing, editing), watching soccer, meeting up with friends, and cooking.

What about you?

Need help with your book? I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!

For my best advice, check out my guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and my guide to publishing a book.

And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter!

Art: Scène de reproches by Michel Garnier


  1. abc

    I spend a ludicrous amount of time playing Candy Crush and I’m really disgusted with myself about it. It’s a tool for numbing in this scary and bizarre timeline we are in. But there are better activities I should be choosing. I don’t want to have to bring up you-know-who, but I think these past few years I’ve been more inclined to do the brain numbing activities as a means to cope. Of course, social media often makes the feelings worse and yet I can’t look away. It’s an endless loop of rage and escape. I just deactivated Facebook but I’m still on Twitter far too much. Goals, man.

  2. Dana

    I spend way too much time on pinterest. But I’m trying to cut back. I also clean a lot. That’s why I love audiobooks. I can still get reading in when I’m doing work. And I love podcasts. I’d listen to more books if it weren’t for true crime garage.


    I spend a lot of time online but more on emails and blogs and Googling than on social media like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. The Internet remains a vast and mostly free treasure-house of information and opinions.

  4. jon

    I don’t do social media – period. In the last month, because my carrier stopped supporting it, I had to deep-six my fourteen year old flip phone for a smarty-pants phone which is usually turned off during normal working hours. I don’t play online or phone games. The TV is off until 9PM or after – if then, or ever.

    What do I do with my time? Write, research and read, and stare out the window from my study/office at the trees, wildlife and the sun sparking off the water. And grocery shopping and yardwork. And go for a paddle or hike whenever I get the urge and need a brain-break or inspiration.

    Doesn’t everyone?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

My blog has everything you need to know to write, edit, and publish a book. Can’t find what you need or want personalized help? Reach out.


I’m available for consultations, edits, query critiques, brainstorming, and more.



Need help with your query? Want to talk books? Check out the Nathan Bransford Forums!