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Life > Experiences

The Power of Disconnecting

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at IUP chapter.

At the beginning of the new year, I decided to limit the amount of time that I spent on my phone and devices. As cheesy as it sounds, we really are addicted to our phones, and I was getting tired of the negative effects it had on me. It had a big effect on my mood and my emotions, and I found that I was spending so much time scrolling for hours every day. At first, this was a struggle, but after some time it got easier and here are some of the positive things that have happened since I started limiting myself.

more free time

This is probably the biggest perk that I have gotten out of limiting my screen time. Now, I have more free time to spend on studying and getting assignments done. Balancing my time and staying focused whenever I am working on school work has become so much easier and I feel confident knowing that I can get things done without getting distracted all the time.

I also have more free time to spend doing the things that I love. Going to the gym, crocheting, reading, and spending time with friends are things that I didn’t make time for, but after seeing how much time I spent on my phone I decided it was time for a change. Being able to have the time to do these things has been impactful for me since I get to do more of my hobbies and spending time with the people that I love.

feeling more connected to others

Our phones get in the way of actually talking and having conversations with people. When I was with my friends, I was usually on my phone most of the time and just chiming in here and there in conversations. Now, I give my full attention to others, and it has led me to feeling more connected than a phone has ever given me. As humans, we need to feel connected and have meaningful relationships with others, and our phones don’t bring us that kind of connection we need. We should be spending time with our friends that is meaningful and doing things together that bring us closer, and being on a device every hang out can be detrimental to the connections we have with others.

improved mood

I didn’t realize how bad my mood was until I started spending intentional time away from my phone. I was getting FOMO, I was very irritable and overall, just unhappy. Social media had the biggest impact on this since I would see people posting their lives and I would get jealous of the life they lived or the things that they are able to do in their lifestyles. Even though nobody has a perfect life, I would often compare my life to the lives of complete strangers that I don’t even know. Not spending as much time on my phone has allowed me to be more mindful and present in the moment, resulting in my mood to be greatly improved. I feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable, and being able to actually enjoy my time instead of getting lost in scrolling has had a great impact on me mentally.

I’m not going to lie, not spending as much time as I usually do on my devices was very hard, but it was very rewarding. Being able to be more relaxed and having more free time to spend more intentionally has been worth more than scrolling for hours and hours and not getting anything done. Start small and work your way down a little bit every day and you’ll start to see the amazing benefits of disconnecting!

Michaela is a writer on the Her Campus team at IUP and is also on the social media team creating posts on the Instagram. At IUP, Michaela is majoring in Nursing, with the goal of becoming a travel nurse after she graduates. She is a sophomore and is expected to graduate in 2026. She is also a member of Theta Phi Alpha, a social sorority at IUP. In her free time, Michaela enjoys reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys going to the gym and walking her dog. She loves to listen to rock and pop punk music and enjoys attending concerts.