Feeling bored? Do something new.

Maybe you feel bored because you aren't actually doing anything.

It can be hard to justify the feeling of boredom in a time where so much technology and entertainment are available to us. It begs the question, "How could you be bored if you can stream movies and TV shows?" 

Well you can, despite the bottomless pit of entertainment available to us. I think the main problem is that being entertained has slowly replaced entertaining ourselves. There's very little engagement when we watch TV or stream movies online. Browsing social media and user-posted content sites can be marginally better, provided we actually participate in a discussion of some kind. Really, though, engagement here is low too. Up and down-voting or "liking" content might make you feel like you are actively engaging in an activity, but you aren't. 

Get a hobby. No, get all the hobbies. Just do something new!

I don't mean that you need to do something complicated. I'm not expecting you to go learn to make wooden furniture in your free time, though that would be pretty cool if you did. 

There's plenty that you can do that isn't just consuming entertainment. 

If you like sports, find a local team or pickup game to play with. Relive the glory days of high school when you could still touch your toes...

Let's assume you aren't going to join the local men's recreational soccer league. Maybe you don't want to go outside to entertain yourself. Fair enough.

Online Multiplayer Computer Games

Multiplayer video games where you compete against other real people are much more engaging than streaming a movie online. First of all, you have to interact with other people. This is true for even the simplest online multiplayer games. Find something free to play, like a free to play MOBA - multiplayer online battle arena game. There are some very good cheap to play and free to play MMO - massively multiplayer online games that don't require a subscription. FPS - first person shooter games are a favorite of mine. 

Anything that sparks your interest is fine as long as there is a big player base for you to interact with. When you find a game you really like, join an in game community and snag yourself some online friends to play with. Before you know it you will be in team voice chat servers and audio only video chat calls strategizing your next match or attack on someone's base.

You don't need a powerful gaming computer or a new video game console to play these games. Free to play games will usually run easily on the computer you already have. Try Steam if you don't know where to start. There's loads of free and cheap multiplayer games without subscriptions that you can enjoy, and a built in friend's list feature that will help you find a community of players to play with.

Your hobby doesn't have to be some amazing and productive thing.

Yeah you can learn an instrument in your spare time, but you can also learn to yo-yo. There aren't any rules to finding something to do that you enjoy. I'm trying to learn card tricks from online video tutorials when I've got nothing else to do. I'd even try to go back and master those skateboard tricks I couldn't do when I was a kid if I wasn't so sure that it would lead to a hospital bill.

Do you know the words to even one whole song? An entire song, from beginning to end? If you have a favorite song, or songs, try learning the lyrics. Pull up a video online with the lyrics, make sure no one can hear you (if you care), and belt it out.

If you are dead-set on finding something more productive to do

Do you know a second language? You don't need to spend money to learn a new language any more. There are free language learning tools you can use. I use an app on my smartphone to take a daily Swedish lesson. Half my family lives in Sweden!  Pick a commonly spoken language in your country or a country you would like to visit and learn a little.

You can learn to make your own things. Make a backpack or a purse from scratch. Sew or knit your own clothes. Maybe start with the perfect pair of pajamas? 

Cook your own food. You don't have to buy a cook book or take a cooking course. It's not that hard to make something that tastes better than what you can get at a chain restaurant. 

Have you ever wanted to be really fit? Wonder what it's like to have a six-pack? Want to be able to jog for miles without getting out of breath? Working out in your free time can get you there. I used to lift weights for exercise before a car wreck ruined my shoulder. I was very strong but didn't really look it. I've always been a video game nerd and it was great fun when people were shocked to notice my muscles. It can be hard to be motivated to get started exercising, but when you start seeing results exercise quickly becomes a favorite part of your day.

Go have some fun.