This month, I decided to do the unthinkable for an American teenager; I quit social media. I had been thinking about doing a social media cleanse for a while. Then, on a random Tuesday, I found myself logging out of Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter for a three week social media detox. Why would I do such a thing? Even though I don’t post everyday, I find myself addicted to the mindless scroll. You know the feeling. Scrolling through my feed occupied not only my free time, but often my time spent around friends, family, time that I could be working on important projects, and above all, time with myself, so I decided to do something about it. So what did I learn, exactly, from disconnecting? At first, I will admit it was odd not having something to keep my mind occupied 24/7. Social media seemed like a default for when I was not busy. I learned, however, that I can get so much done with the time I usually used sending snapchat streaks or retweeting memes. I am an easily distracted person, and by eliminating such a powerful force of distraction meant that I could get things done in much less time and have time to focus on my hobbies and the people around me. I also have found that I, like many other self conscious teenagers, used my social media apps as a means to compare myself to others. Life seems better when you are looking at it through a screen, whether that be someone’s perfectly edited photo or extravagant vacation posts. I, myself am guilty of this same behaviour. When I eliminated this from my life, I found myself comparing myself only to me. The most important thing that I have learned from the past three weeks is that when we disconnect from our phones, we truly connect to each other and the world around us. When I took the screen away from me, I found myself having more real conversations with people instead of messaging them. I looked up at the beauty of the world around me, the fall leaves and found myself truly living in the present moment instead of simply recording it. I’m not saying everyone should delete all of their social media forever. I just believe that it is important to use social media in moderation and in a healthy way so that we don’t lose ourselves in our iPhones.It sounds completely corny, but disconnecting truly made me feel so connected.