Nowadays, babies are practically born with iPhones glued to their right hands and selfie-sticks stuck to their left. Over the past decade, humans have become engrossed with technology and social media. Almost everyone, from Baby-Boomers to Millennials owns a cell-phone, iPad or laptop. In fact, Gen Y spends several hours a day on their phones according to the Washington Post.

Over the years, I’ve realized I too have become obsessed with my phone. I understand that sometimes it can be hard to leave our phones at home or keep them in our bags. The closer you get to your phone, the harder it is to put it away and try to be in the moment. This constant distraction can make you feel disconnected from what’s occurring right here and right now. We all could benefit from a putting down our phone.

Here are five reasons you should take a break from that screen and look up:

1. Mindfulness: Being mindful means being in-the-moment. Breathing exercises, stretching, yoga, meditation and concentrating on what you’re feeling at that particular time, can improve mindfulness. Practicing this can reduce stress and anxiety. Remember to give your body the attention it deserves and take the time to recognize how it feels. So put down that phone and embrace what you’re feeling from your tip-toes to the crown of your head.

2. Networking: Ever get in an elevator and think.. well, this is awkward. Most of the time people hide behind their screens and only open their mouth to say, “what floor?” A  more productive use of your time is to try and network. Start a conversation with the person next you. After all, you might indirectly know them according to the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. And if not, hey you just made a new friend, met your next boss, potential business partner, or your future soulmate. You never know who’s standing next to you, so don’t be shy!

3. Observing: It’s intriguing to watch different types of people interact as if no one was watching. Observing your surroundings is a great way to become more aware. Instead of walking down the street with your eyes glued to your screen, put your head up and embrace the beautiful elements this world has to offer. Admiring your environment daily could make you happier than replying to an email or sending a tweet. Besides, you don’t want to walk into a pole for staring down at your screen.

4. Inspiration: Inspiration can come from all walks of life. Try and be open-minded while taking in your surroundings. Don’t get stuck opening Instagram five times in row. Be creative and challenge the way you think. Let your mind wander and your dreams expand. You could feel inspired and motivated just from over hearing or seeing something. Take time off from technology and get inspired!

5. Health: Humans naturally want to interact. Staring at a screen all day is exhausting and unhealthy- mentally and physically. Your eyes start to strain and your fingers start to cramp. Enjoy the little things in life. Technology is developing at a rapid speed and is becoming more intense as we speak. Take advantage of simpler times while they still exist. Don’t depend on your phone to make you less bored or bring excitement into your life. Instead try taking a break from social media. In fact, it can actually increase your self-esteem and happiness!

I was inspired to write this article after reading this quote, “Don’t use social media to impress people, use it to impact people,” by Dave Willis. Many times people are so consumed with what others are doing, instead of focusing on their own well-being. I think it’s extremely important to embrace self love and take a moment to reevaluate what truly matters. Being in-the-moment and embracing your daily interactions can easily bring happiness and a sense of peace. I hope this blog reminds everyone that there is more to life than technology. Remind yourself what’s important and enjoy the life you ACTUALLY live (not say you do on instagram). I hope the next time you’re boarding a plane, out on a walk, or waiting for a friend to meet you at a bar you remember this article!

My last piece of advice comes from my dear friend, Justin Bieber:

“The grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.”