In today’s hyper-connected society, it’s hard to believe there are “non-Internet users” — but there are. According to a new Pew Research survey, 15 percent of Americans are offline.

Pew analyzed 98 surveys and over 229,000 interviews given to adults living in the United States between March 2000 and May 2015. Thirty-two percent of respondents who weren’t online reported they simply weren’t interested in being online or they didn’t believe the Internet was “relevant to their lives.” Others reported they were “too old to learn” how the Internet works — seniors were more likely to say they have never been online — while some admitted they simply couldn’t afford an Internet package.

In addition, Internet usage was limited among adults with less than a high school education and adults living in rural communities where cost is presumably a greater barrier. Despite lower usage rates among these groups, “the vast majority of Americans are online,” Pew concluded. But would it really be so bad if more people were offline?

It’s a bit of a loaded question. For one, the Internet makes it easy to share and spread important information; track growing health concerns; stay connected with friends; discover new job opportunities, potential dates, and effective programs for pain management. In fact, there’s a select group of seniors who are using chat rooms and forums to have healthy discussions about sex. Yet, because so many people are online, there’s an unhealthy pressure to be plugged in.

Research continues to show this pressure can have an adverse effect on physical and mental health. In the workplace, employees more often than not answer their emails well into the night and neglect their paid time off. A 2014 Harris Interactive poll revealed 85 percent of employees with PTO “had taken only a little time off during the past year.” What’s more is one in 10 workers spent vacation time interviewing for new jobs, a number that nearly doubles among young workers.

The thing is vacations boast health benefits . They allow employees to recharge their batteries, to refocus, and to cultivate both family bonds and creativity. Not to mention turning off your screens at a certain point in the night makes it easier for your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Sleep, as you well know, is vital to our overall health.

If the Internet doesn’t cut into productivity, it enables the rate of self-diagnosis, which can be dangerous. One study may have found patients prefer to talk with their doctors over social media, but sticking to social media negatively Affects preventive care — more Americans are passively engaging with healthcare, ZocDoc, a digital health platform, concluded.

Frequent Internet use, too, also increases a user’s chance of coming across trolls, cyber bullying, and Facebook posts that unintentionally inspire low self-esteem, body shaming, and depression. So maybe being offline isn't such a bad thing. At the very least, Americans stand to benefit from unplugging and spending more time offline.

Source: Pew Research Center. 2015.