Being social is practically a part-time job. Our generation is incredibly plugged in. I won’t pretend that my #FOMO oftentimes overpowers my #YOLO mantra. I love living in the moment while capturing it at its best (usually with my iPhone camera via Snapchat). But sometimes unplugging really is good for my mental health. Between fickle Instagram standards and everyone trying to be heard, noticed and “put on,” the Internet is exhausting. It has a tendency to creep into your daily (if not hourly) routine and saturate your mind with everyone else’s opinions and social happenings.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, more than 80 percent of millennials sleep with our phones next to our bed. I am not exempt; I am no more than one reach away when that hotline blings.

With that said, I dare you (and challenge myself) to power down your computer, turn off your cell phone and take off your smart watch. Now what? What would you do to occupy your time? Now I’m sure most of us can easily answer this question. I would personally go for a run or make a quick green tea latte. I might even pick up a book. But for how long? How long would it take before I got the itch to power something on and proceed with my day?

Millennials between the ages of 18 and 29 spend approximately 51 minutes per day on Facebook, 50.6 minutes on Pinterest, 29.9 minutes on Instagram, 19.8 minutes on Snapchat…

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Truth is, you being unplugged matters. Forget about what your timeline will think. Sign out of Facebook, converse with that attractive stranger on the subway and formulate your own opinions. Live your own life. Many of us conduct our businesses and work events on our laptops, desktops and smartphones, so why not power down and enjoy our social lives elsewhere — like in real life, if only for a few hours?

It’s really about finding balance in this hyper-connected world we live in. The internet is a great place to engage. But you never know who you’d spark a conversation with if you weren’t texting while walking or taking a selfie. Your voice and sense of self will be a tad stronger if you listen to the things around you instead of tweeting.

As much as I love my Macbook and would implode without my cell phone, my mental health relies on my ability to turn the world and my technology sources off throughout my work week. Trending topics and Twitter moments will always be there. Block out a period of time in your day and interact with the world around you. Don’t miss the opportunity to actually live life’s rare moments.

So toss the selfie stick. Unplug, I double-dog dare you.


What do you do when you’re unplugged? Share in the comments below!