Most of us can't go a few hours without checking our email, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media sites. We thrive off seeing what foods our friends are eating, what everyone is wearing or getting international news in a matter of seconds.
The internet can be an amazing thing. There's no doubt about that. However, it can also be extremely toxic.
Seeing the dark side of international politics or comparing your achievements to those of your high school friends can take extreme tolls on your mental health.
While it can be incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from your phone and laptop, I can not stress enough how important it is.
Let me pose this idea to you: turn off your phone, shut down your laptop and take a few hours (or even a day) for yourself. I'm not saying you should go full 1989 and leave your phone at home (safety first, right), but we all must ensure that we dedicate a part of our week to not using it.
Taking a long walk, going to the mall, baking or just going out with people you love can all be great detoxes. Often we become so preoccupied with looking at what others are doing and documenting what we are doing that we forget to enjoy life. Life gets so much better when we forget the world around us and just center ourselves.
Although being alone with our thoughts can be scary, it is the best thing we can do for our mental health.
Even if it's something as simple as turning off our phones and going out for drinks with our friends or going across town to get dinner from that one amazing place (without checking twitter while we wait). Any amount of disconnecting is essential to be happy.
Growing up as a millennial meant I got to see technology evolve from dial-up internet to 3D-Printing, so I know firsthand how hard it can be to pull yourself away from it. However, as I have grown older, I have come to learn just how important taking breaks from social media is. That's why we all need to do it at least once a week.
So I pose a challenge to you. The next day you don't have class or work, spend half the day with your phone on airplane mode. Then spend the day doing something you love. No social media, no answering emails. Just you, maybe your loved ones, and something that makes you happy.
There will always be time to reconnect with the media we all enjoy, but disconnecting is something we all need to work harder to do.