Excessive phone use can be dragging you down

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Losing sleep, gaining weight, feeling lonely. Limiting one bad habit could fix all of this, that habit - too much screen time.

Dr. Kari Scovel a clinical psychologist in Rapid City said, "It's more accepted but I don't think it should be, I think there should more of a presence."

There's a lack of focus these days and psychologists say the constant multitasking between real life and the screen can lead to obesity, less family time, less socialization, and less sleep - and the addiction starts at a young age.

"What I see is a progression in children, adolescents, as well as adults in how they're socializing, they're not getting out of the house, they're not going to groups anymore, they have an online group, they don't have friends at school, they have online friends," Dr. Scovel said.

Dr. Scovel stresses children are living in a fantasy world, between gaming and the perception everyone on social media is perfect.

Social media also introduces kids to pornographic materials at a very young age.

"Parents don't think at 12 years of age you should be educating on sex but it's happening, " Dr. Sandra Jensen a clinical psychologist in Rapid City said.

Both psychologists urge parents to have good conversations with their children about phone use. Children are so tech savy it won't make a difference if you block certain sites on their phone, they will get around it.

Doctors recommend using family dinner as a time to unplug together.