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    There are so many apps out there to keep us close to friends and family and even some that help us meet new people, network, and make new friends who become more like family. Cell phones have become a huge part of everyday life for many people and most of us can’t imagine a few hours let alone a full day without our trusted cellphones. With so many positive attributes of cell phones there are also many negatives that come along with being so attached to our phones. Here are five reasons why it’s ok to start putting your phone down.

    1. Missed Connections

    Can you recall the last time you went out alone and weren’t on your cellphone the majority of the time? You probably didn’t even notice the cute stranger trying to make eye contact with you or even think to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. By cutting yourself off to the world and being engulfed in whatever is happening on social media you are doing yourself a huge injustice. You are missing out on opportunities, meetings and possibly even encountering the love of your life. Do yourself a favor and put down your cell phone the next time you go out. Maybe you will meet someone new, maybe you won’t but at least you will learn how to enjoy your own company without the need of constantly checking on the rest of the world.

    2. Building Stronger Relationships

    I remember a few years back my sister and I were out at a restaurant and my phone was literally glued to my hand. If I wasn’t taking a selfie, I was scrolling through my timeline on various social media apps just to make sure I was in the loop. I was so busy seeing what was going on in everyone else’s life I neglected to be there for my sister and find out what was new with her. She literally talked to me for a few minutes and I couldn’t recall a thing she said because my head was too wrapped up in my phone. If you’ve done this before or have been the frustrated friend or family member on the receiving in of being ignored you know how irritating it can be. Trust me whatever it is that you need to check, whatever celebrity gossip you need to read, whatever picture you are dying to take can wait until you are done spending quality time with your loved one. By simply being more engaged with the person you are spending time with and not your phone you are building a stronger bond and making memories with them you may have not been able to make. You are showing you care for that person and spending time with them is a priority of yours.

    3. Enjoying the Moment

    Have you ever been out and saw something so beautiful you wanted to take a picture to share it? Maybe it was a beautiful flower bush, decadent meal or art display. Perhaps you snapped several pictures on your cellphone then shared it on your social media and went about your day. What you most likely didn’t do was really take time to enjoy the meal, experience the different flavors or ask your waiter about the ingredients that were used. You also probably did not stop to smell those beautiful flowers or really look at them or even take time to really dissect the art display and what it meant to you. So often we capture pictures of things that we feel are beautiful or that we things are friends will feel are beautiful without actually experiencing them. We are more concerned with capturing a moment than actually taking the time to experience it. Next time you feel convicted to snap a picture of something, remember to actually take the time to enjoy it as well.

    4. Clearer Mind

    Have you ever started working on a personal project and found yourself constantly checking your phone for text messages, missed calls, updates, instagram, periscope, Facebook, snapchat, twitter you name it?  Before you know it you are scrolling through someones cousin’s prom pictures, looking at bridal showers, engagement parties and vacations and you forget what you were working on to begin with. Often times we allow our cellphones to distract us from not only important tasks but getting meaningful things done in our lives. We are more concerned with what everyone else is doing than what we promised ourselves we would do. If this sounds like you start challenging yourself to leave your cellphone in another room while you work or work for 30 minute to 1 hour increments then give yourself a few minutes to check on your precious phone. The more time you spend working on your own projects the more liberated you will feel and the need to constantly check your phone will begin to dissipate.

    5. Less Comparisons 

    Unfortunately, our phones can be the gateway to comparisons. We find ourselves scrolling through instagram watching friends, family and perfect strangers living picture perfect lives. We wonder why that can’t be us and find ourselves becoming depressed just thinking about all the things they seem to have that we don’t. We forget that social media is a way for people to showcase their best. You can’t compare your life to someone else’s filtered high light reel. Taking breaks from social media can help us to get back to what is truly important and that is living our lives to our fullest potential and pursuing our dreams.

    Will you start taking breaks from your phone?


    Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, Mac makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, follow her on instagram at @ashleyreneepoet or personal blog Why I Waited


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