I will be the first to admit, I love social media. I think it is great. I am a Journalism Media major for gosh sakes.

I love the way you get to connect with others both far away and close. How awesome is it that you get to see what your cousin in New Jersey is doing on a somewhat regular basis. It keeps relationships stronger and up-to-date more so than any other form of communication. Because let us be honest, I am not going to be calling every one of my relatives and friends weekly asking what they are up to.

I also love the way you get to create your own pages and be as creative as you want. Instagram especially has become the ultimate outlet to showcase your life in a creative way through photos and captions to share with your followers. This is where my love for social media ultimately came from.

Social media has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and share creative content from my travels and day to day life.

But as good as I am making this all sound, social media has a major downfall. I really consider it addictive to a lot of people and I hear it from people all the time, including myself.

This was not an automatic realization for me. It took me several years and self-awareness to realize just how much I would open my phone and reload Instagram. I am pretty sure I have done it at least 4 times in the span of writing this article.

I decided to turn on a notification (and I encourage you all to try it too) when I spent more than 30 minutes on the Instagram app. It was really scary when I already received my 30-minute warning by 10 a.m. in the morning one day.

That's when I decided something needed to change.

The good news is, you can still use social media in all the great ways it was intended for. But be mindful to not fall into the trap of mindlessly opening it without thinking.

It is something I am working on and very much struggling with, but it is so important to stay present and focus on what is happening around you, and not the screen in front of you.

So here it is my friends, let us bring awareness to our screen usage in a more mindful manner as the new year approaches.