Spending time online has become a normal part of our daily lives. But how much is too much? What kind of effects does the internet have on our physical and mental state?

A new study shows that excessive time on the internet can increase a teenager’s risk of high blood pressure. Research has shown a link between heavy internet usage and increased health risks such as internet addiction, anxiety, depression, obesity, and social isolation. Of the 134 teens described as heavy internet users, 26 had unusually high blood pressure.

Researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that teens that spent a minimum of 14 hours a week on the internet had elevated blood pressure.

Our time spent online can be productive but shouldn’t consumer our daily life, work, and relationships. People may find that they have lower self-esteem when they interact with social media on a regular basis. We constantly compare ourselves to the smiling selfies, vacation pictures, and photos featuring friends and families laughing together; wishing that we had the same happy lives.

The Modern Adventure

When it comes to real-life human interaction, we are often too focused on the number of likes and followers to the point of obsession. We are too preoccupied with the screens on our devices to pay attention to what’s taking place around us. The internet seems to give us the option to provide us with happiness with just a click but often it is short-lived – and the cycle begins again. There are also the harmful effects of cyber-bullying to consider too.

Life should be lived in the real world and not the virtual one.

Challenge yourself to turn off your phone or computer and spend quality time with people, face-to-face. A real conversation doesn’t include the distractions of a Facebook notification or a new follower on Instagram or Twitter.