Your teen’s use of internet may increase risk of high blood pressure

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Cyber Safety for Families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish Family Morning Show 

Mobile connectivity use is difficult to regulate because it can be very addictive. Brain science tells us that the interaction with the device has the same effect on the brain as a drug because it stimulates the same reward system of the brain, dopamine. A new study finds that heavy use of the internet by teens may create a risk of higher blood pressure. According to the article, 14 hours per week of internet use (devices and computers) resulted in higher blood pressure. This finding reinforces a growing body of research that connects heavy internet use with other diseases including depression, anxiety, obesity and social isolation.

..”I recommend to parents they limit their children’s’ time at home on the Internet. I think two hours a day, five days a week is good rule of thumb.” Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, PhD, Henry Ford Dept of Health

Talking points about teen screen-time moderation

  • Managing screen time is the responsible, “adult thing” to do. Ask your teen to do their own self assessment of the time they spend using cyber technology for socializing and other tasks, such as homework. And more importantly, let your teen know that you are going to go through the same process and come up with your own resolution to improve your attention management. This is a way to show solidarity and encourage your teen.
  • Your attention is your power. You have to decide that you are in charge of how and when you give your attention to something, be it to people, media or tasks. Based upon their own self assessment of time and attention with the device, ask your teen to give themselves a grade for attention management relative to meeting their personal objectives (grades, and other goals). Is the time with the device causing them to go to bed later and lose sleep? Are their grades as good as they could be? Is there more they could get accomplished if they rearranged their priorities?
  • Think about being purpose-driven. If the activity with the device is not contributing to accomplishing a task or, more importantly, if it is distracting you from taking care of other responsibilities, then you probably need to set a limit for yourself. Offer to be an accountability buddy, to help them stick to their new commitment for managing their time texting or on social media.
  • Suggest establishing a digital sunset. This is a time in the evening when the devices, in particular social media, are turned off. Let your friends know when you will no longer be responding to texts.


ABOUT:  Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.

Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Jodie Stevens, Hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM, with her cyber mom, Joanna Jullien. They talk cyber safety on Tuesday mornings.

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM The Fish offers insights and lessons learned about faith and recovery from addiction. Check out her blog, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, weekday mornings on the Family Morning Show.


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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.