Experts suggest less screen time and more face time

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Nomophobia is the irrational fear of being without your phone.

"It's like this constant pull towards always wanting to have it. Check it. Be on it,” communications expert Chris Winfield said.

Anymore, it can be difficult to find someone without a phone in their hand or nearby.

Winfield said smartphone addiction has become a serious problem.

"It's kind of eroding real life connection, and we feel and we are more connected than ever,” he explained.

Nancy Krago with Family and Service Guidance Center said it’s also affecting young people.

"Children are never ever unplugged now. They have their phones with them constantly. They're constantly on the internet. They're on social media,” she said.

Experts believe children who spend unhealthy amounts of time with their phone and online can experience a range of emotions including depression because of cyberbullying and the creation of a false reality.

"And that really is not a healthy thing to do. I believe that's one of the major contributors to the increase in suicide,” Krago added.

Winfield explained how much of what we see on our phones can control our mood.

"What we're seeing is the constant highlight reel of everyone's lives and what happens is that it makes us feel worse. I guess that's the easiest way to put it,” he said.

Phones play a key role in many of our lives from an early age.

"So it's the norm now for children of every age to be exposed to electronic devices and communication,” Krago said.

It’s suggested everyone take a break from the screen.

"We have to have a healthy balance. Even for ourselves, we have to have a healthy balance of screen time and other alternatives,” Krago added.

Winfield said constant notifications from your phone are not always good for you.

"Anytime I'm checking my email, my phone, Facebook whatever more than like 10 to 20 times a day, my happiness levels go down and my stress levels go up incrementally,” Winfield explained.

Experts encourage more face to face conversations.

"You know that's a really important things to just have a real conversation, and being able to find out how much of this is actually real,” he said.

It is also a good idea to regularly check in with children about what they may be experiencing on social media sites.