When we heard Kerry Washington was taking a break from social media, hearts sank. After all, she taught us some of our fave social media hacks! But with baby number two on the way, we can’t say we’re surprised she’s taking some time to disconnect. And while social media can do a lot of awesome things, like help boost your personal brand, taking a social break also has its benefits. We caught up with Denise Limongello, a licensed psychotherapist and expert on health and wellness based in Manhattan, to find out if and why time away from Snapchat, Instagram and every other social platform is a good idea. Here’s why Denise says taking that break could be a healthy move to make.

woman using smartphone

1. Your eyes will thank you. Studies show that nearsightedness among Americans has increased by 66 percent in the past 30 years, and computer use has been reported as a leading reason. “We all know that staring at a computer screen is not recommended for your eyes — and social media can be a reason to stare at your computer or phone all the more often,” Denise says. “Taking a break from social media can be a great way to reduce the time you spend online and give your eyes a well-deserved rest.”

2. Your heart will thank you. We’re all going after those triple digit Insta-likes, amirite? Turns out, there’s more to it than just loving to see those double taps add up. “Studies indicate that narcissistic people often have elevated levels of cortisol, which can often lead to heart-related health issues,” notes Denise. She adds, “Social media is often described as a narcissistic activity, as it can keep you hyper-focused on yourself and constantly comparing yourself to others. Taking a break from social media can be a great way to try to ensure that you don’t become self-obsessed and inadvertently raise your stress levels in the process.”

3. You’ll be happier. Sure, the argument could be made that social media brings tons of happiness to your day. But putting the smartphone down might be just as beneficial. “Recent research indicates a strong correlation between depression and heavy use of social media. Depression can be known to create a host of health issues from insomnia to weight gain or even more extreme ailments such as a heart condition or a weakened immune system,” says Denise. “Taking a break from social media when you find it’s affecting your mood and your outlook can be a great idea to help prevent physical and emotional maladies.”

Have you done a digital detox? Tweet us how it went @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)