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

I’m sure that many of us are aware of the addictive qualities that come with social media. For one, features of infinite scrolling create an environment of never-ending entertainment, which often leaves us users unaware of how long we’ve been on a page. Sometimes, I’ve looked up from my phone after what felt like a quick five-minute Instagram break from homework, and realized that since my break started, the minute hand had gone halfway around the clock. 

In addition to the time-warping capabilities of social media, I’ve realized that it has the ability to create a negative mood seemingly out of nowhere. Seeing friends having a blast somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit while you’re stuck at home on laundry day can cause just a sliver of jealousy that can ruin a whole day. With today’s technology, we have instant access to a glimpse into anyone and everyone’s lives, and sometimes I find myself forgetting that the things I’m seeing have most likely been perfectly curated for the public, and there is always more to every post. 

Recently, I took a four-hour-long plane ride with zero access to the internet. I had no way to seek entertainment in other people’s lives, and I realized that I felt so much better after landing than I had felt before taking off. After coming to this realization, I made the decision to limit my access to social media to test how my mood was affected without it. It’s only been about a month, and I’m already feeling so much better and have rediscovered some of my interests and have been able to connect better with the people around me. 

I fully recommend taking a social media detox if you’ve felt anything similar to my experiences with social media, or even if you just feel like you need a change.

Don’t feel like you need to let everyone know you’re taking a break. The people you’re closest to should already have your contact information and will still be able to reach you. You don’t need to justify not using a social media platform to anyone other than yourself.

Do things at your own comfort level. If outright deleting all of your accounts doesn’t seem like something you’re 100% into, find an alternative that works for you! I personally decided to deactivate my accounts and delete the apps from my phone so that I can always get them back when I’m ready. Even just setting daily time limits on your phone for social apps can be beneficial, do what feels best for you. 

I realized after deleting my socials how much time I truly spent on my phone, and how much time I needed to learn to fill. The greatest part about this is that I now have time to explore my interests and hobbies. During this past month, I’ve had so much time to redevelop my love for reading, discover new music artists, and have been better able to engage with my surroundings and friends. I also have seen a noticeable change in my overall mood, which is exciting because it’s the reason I turned to a social media detox in the first place! 

While I’m open to returning to social media in the future, I’m going to continue to stay free from most internet communities for the time being. I highly encourage anyone looking for a lifestyle change to join me, as this was such a great choice to make and I haven’t looked back since. 

Madeline McCormack is an English major at TCU. You can usually find her rewatching Gilmore Girls for the 800th time, reading, or hanging out with her cats. After graduation, she hopes to spend her time raising awareness for marginalized voices in the literary community.