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We’ve all heard of juice cleanses, the process of consuming fresh squeezed fruit or veggies in order to rid the body of toxins and promote a healthy lifestyle. Similar to a juice cleanse, a social media cleanse is basically the same idea but to some, may sound a lot less rewarding. Social media is the intermingling sanctuary of the millennial generation. Many people participate daily in communication through their accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more. If there is even a minute of free time in the day, most people instinctively pull up their social media accounts and scroll through their feed, viewing pictures, opinions, and stories that their friends and family chose to share with the world. Social media has a gravitational pull that attracts our attention but have you ever considered that it may be adding negative impact to your life?

About 6 months ago, I noticed the time I spent scrolling through my feed on Instagram took up way too much of my day and negatively affected my self-image, activeness, and ability to focus on something for longer than 5 minutes. Gradually, I became frustrated that my life (and everyone else’s) seemed to revolve around social media so I decided to delete my social media apps and see how long I could go without them and what positive effects it might have on my lifestyle. After a month-long social media cleanse, I felt a significant difference in the way I viewed myself and world around me and found five solid reasons why I believe everyone should consider boycotting social media for a period of time, too.

To Eliminate Bad Self Esteem:

It’s easy to drown in deflated self-confidence when pictures of half-naked, perfectly toned and gorgeously tanned models flood your Instagram feed or when all your best friend’s engagements are getting posted all over Facebook while you’re living the single life. Social media plays as a devil’s advocate for this type of stuff and makes it nearly impossible to feel completely content with your life when you’re constantly being introduced to the next best thing. If you’re wanting to escape the pressure of feeling like you must compete with the rest of the world, getting away from your social media accounts and focusing on your own awesome life might be a healthy change for you.

To Strengthen Relationships:

How are you supposed to bond with your best friend over coffee when both of you have your faces in your phone? How is your significant other supposed to gaze into your eyes during your dinner date if you’re busy uploading that cute selfie the two of you took before you sat down to eat? Social media takes away from our face-to-face time spent with friends, family and loved ones and can create a wall between healthy communication without either of you realizing it. Put down the phone, ditch the social media for less distraction and pick up a conversation with a loved one.

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To Become More Active:

Finding ways to stay motivated when it comes to your workout schedule is difficult enough as it is but when spending time on your phone, scrolling through your social media is a competitor, it’s even more challenging. A lot of us strive to live a healthy lifestyle by visiting the gym and working out on a regular basis which can be hard to manage between classes, homework, and jobs. That being said, wasting time on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat might be giving your thumbs a workout but it’s definitely not doing anything for your body. Trash the apps and tread the track!

To Improve Focus:

For full-time students, being able to focus all of your attention on one thing at a time is a necessary tool and is expected in the classroom and in the work field. It is a well-known fact that cell phone usage is considered a common distraction in the classroom but it’s hard to agree with the saying “out of sight, out of mind” when you have a multitude of notifications from Snapchat buzzing your phone. A social media cleanse would fix this issue, not only by eliminating the interruption of notifications but also by training your brain to strengthen its focus on one thing at a time. That way, when you’re ready to download all those tempting apps again, the habit of reaching for the phone won’t be as familiar.

To Challenge Yourself:

It’s hard to deny that social media plays a vital role in the average person’s modern lifestyle and it’s considered unusual when you run into a person who doesn’t participate in intermingling through these popular apps. If the four reasons above don’t quite speak to you, consider a social media cleanse for the sheer purpose of challenging yourself and encouraging personal growth by trying something new. You never know, you could start the newest trend by taking a break from addictive social media apps and enjoying your life from a new perspective, out from behind the screen.