The Internet and how it affects health

Editorial by Terrell Wooten

Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to the Internet.  For me personally, I find it rather difficult going a day without search the web for something.
We all use the Internet as an easy tool to communicate with friends and family or to stay on track with business-related work.
I’ve come to realize that the Internet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Our health is a major factor, and you would be surprised at how many people are completely oblivious to the fact that spending countless hours on the internet will cause their health to deteriorate.
Obsessive internet usage can lead to sedentary lifestyles, weight gain and a decline in physical fitness. Some other things that we suffer from are carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, migraine headaches, a decline in personal hygiene and back aches.
Depression has also been linked to internet overuse.
My junior year of high school, I started my first job, and I decided to buy myself a laptop for school-related purposes; I did just that.
I researched for term papers and completed all of my online assignments, but over time, I became bored and I decided to go and search the web for others.  That’s when I discovered Twitter and Facebook.
I fell in love with these social networking sites, and eventually I began putting more important things that needed my attention off to the side.  So, I could sit in my room and socialize on the Internet.
I first came to terms with my addiction of the Internet one day while scrolling down my timeline on Facebook, and I saw how everyone was posting statuses and pictures about “living the good life.”
So, I made it my decision to get up, get out and find some sort of hobby that I was proud of and that I could basically brag about and show off to my friends and family.
Unfortunately, that never happened and  over time, I made many plans of eliminating the Internet from my life, so I could go out and actually live it.
My depression was so severe that I couldn’t function mentally, physically or emotionally. Day after day, I would sit at home and live my life on Twitter and Facebook.
Seeing everyone else all happy and content with their lives, I started to become envious. I wanted something to be happy about; I wanted to be satisfied and confident with life, and I wanted that feeling of knowing that people favored and looked up to me.
That didn’t happen very often, and it drove me into an even deeper depression.
My addiction prevented me from accomplishing my goals in life. I had reached a breaking point, and one day I said that this will not go on anymore.
I’m tired of being depressed, stressed, unhealthy and mentally tired. That day happened about a month ago, and now, I’m on the right track to a better lifestyle.
I have since joined a gym.  I’ve changed my diet, I’m sleeping better, my overall performance in school has improved and I’ve even cut down on all of the social networking and unnecessary Internet surfing.  What I’ve taken from this experience is that the Internet will definitely put you in a place mentally and physically that’ll be difficult to come back from.
So, if you or anyone else that you’re familiar with is suffering from overusage of the Internet, I recommend you seek help and don’t be afraid to talk to someone close to you and let them know what’s affecting you.

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