We live in an environment of constant notifications. Calls, texts, snapchats, retweets, and likes on Facebook/Instagram rule our fast-paced world. The online aspect of socialization has become an essential part of communication. As a young adult in college, I would likely be missing out on quite a bit if I were to opt out of social media entirely. I applaud those who are able to do so. I don’t have plans to delete my social media anytime soon, but boy do I feel like I need a break sometimes. Therefore, I made the simplest adjustment I could think of: turning off my notifications. I no longer get those pop-up banners from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It took all of ten seconds, but for me it has really made a difference. Here’s why I decided to turn my social media notifications off.

The constant bombardment gets annoying. I will admit that I am not nearly as popular as some people, but sometimes I feel like my phone just won’t stop lighting up. It’s hard to stay off of it, especially if I’m trying to get my schoolwork done. I am a big believer in the “Do Not Disturb” setting when I’m working on important things, but I would rather have the notifications be nonexistent to begin with.

I want to waste less time. Opening an app to check a notification often leads to spending another 20 minutes scrolling through that app. I was sick of feeling like I was wasting my life away on my phone when I could be doing something more interesting or fulfilling. From now on I want to open social media when I genuinely feel like it and have some downtime, rather than whenever I see a notification pop up.

It can wait. You don’t have to respond to Aunt Susan’s comment right this second. If one of my friends really wants me to see the funny video they just tagged me in, they’ll text me. Even then, I don’t have to look at it if I don’t feel like it or have the time. Not to mention the fact that Facebook is not going anywhere in the meantime. Social media should be something we scroll through in our leisure time, not something we view as an obligation. I’m not trying to start a trend here. If you like your notifications, keep them on. But if you’re feeling the way I have been recently, try turning them off and see what happens. It might just improve your life by keeping you off your phone.