It is amazing how an outage of Facebook has affected our offices today.  It was the talk in the hallways.  We use it for our business to get our message out to the public, but I am sure there are a few desperate to check their newsfeeds. How many times have you refreshed the page today, attempting to get into the social media mega-site?

The national news is consumed with social media sites and their power over people.  Can they affect the vote?  Can they hurt self-esteem or even their sense of self?  Does Facebook make us fat?

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I don't know what all of the answers are to these questions, but one I can answer very easily.  Facebook, Twitter, and others keep us inside way too much.  Did your parents ever say, "Shut that TV off and get outside"?  Mine did.  It is even harder for parents to get their kids outdoors today, What about the parents themselves?  Prying yourself away from your smartphone is a difficult thing to do.  We have so much media at our fingertips, it can be addicting. Here are some things we can do in Billings that can keep you busy that do not involve social media.  Even if it is short-lived.

Ride Your Bike or Scooter on the Many Billings Bike Paths

Asian Family On Cycle Ride In Countryside Cycling Towards Camera
Credit: monkeybusinessimages

You would be surprised how many trails and biking lanes there are available in Billings.  Many of these are easy to get to and very safe.  There are parks with bicycle loops.  Not only do you get outside, but you can also get to your destination. It feels great to get outside and get the exercise.

Go to A Billings Park or Playground

Playground park in Sharjah
Credit: typhoonski, Getty Stock, Thinkstock

I could not even tell you how many public parks, large and small, there are in Billings and the surrounding areas.  They are there waiting for our families to get out and use them.  Try it.

Play A Board Game at Home

Mother Smiles During Play Date Children Playing Board Game
Crediit: Brian McEntire

When I was a kid, my brother, sister, and I begged my parents to play Monopoly, Clue, and multiple other boards and card games we had at the house.  These games actually require the participants to interact with one another and make decisions.  There are even games now where you all play together toward a common goal.  No winners, no losers.  Very politically correct.

Go For A Hike Anywhere in Montana

Beautiful view of Josephine lake, Glacier National Park
Credit; Srongkrod, Thinkstock

There are stores, organizations, guides, and an entire industry revolving around Hiking in Montana.  Hikes range from easy to hard, or as I say, hard to impossible.  I am a novice as many of you probably are, but it is easy to learn.  You can hike solo or in a group.  The entire family can go together or a group of friends.  One-day to multiple-day hikes are well marked and trails are maintained.  It is all within minutes of your own home, right here in Billings or close.

By the time you read this, Facebook will be back up and the crisis will be over.  You won't be scared anymore and all will be good with the world.  I know Facebook is woven into our social fabric.  You probably found this article on the site.  Just know, if it went away tomorrow, time will not stop.  Life will go on, and maybe for the better.

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