Avera Medical Minute:A technology addiction can cause issues for teens and even adults

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Technology is all around us from social media to video games. All this technology can cause significant problems for teens and even some adults.

Open your phone and take a look, if you have more than seven social media applications research says you could have a six times higher rate of anxiety.

With all these different distractions for children heading back to school the balancing act between technology and school work is a difficult task.

Dr. Wallace Jackmon, a clinical psychologist and social worker for Avera, says that cell phone addiction is real and it can cause anxiety and depression to increase.

"There's a correlation between increased social media use and depression," he said. "And that there are problems associated with too much smartphone, social media use."

Dr. Jackmon says more than 70% of teenagers own a cell phone. With looming deadlines and anxiety that comes with high school, it can be challenging to balance the two.

"It comes back to time management, as well, and making sure that teens get their work done first," Travis Sieber, Washington High School guidance counselor, said. "The school media and technology comes second. This also involves video games, as well."

Many professionals are seeing the consequences of too much technology in recent years.

"That's one area in which folks will build their self-esteem or confidence on constant seeking reassurance from folks," Dr. Jackmon said. "Reassuring that oh I'm doing this or I look okay, stress looks well on me, or am I hanging out with the right people."

"I think sometimes it comes up as a self-esteem issue and a confidence issue, where if you put something on Instagram or followers on Snapchat they can see other people that might be in their grade or in their class have many more likes of a picture or more followers on Snapchat," Sieber said. "And then they sit and say why can't I be like this other person, and that can create a stressful moment for teens."

Parents of teens can get involved to reduce the number of hours on their phones or playing video games. Sieber says that parents need to have conversations with their kids about what they believe is appropriate.

"Parents have to set an example, you can't tell your children to limit your smartphone use, and you're cooking dinner, and you're on your cell phone the whole time that they're trying to carry on a conversation," Dr. Jackmon said. "It starts with recognition."

Experts say technology addiction is not only a problem with teens but with adults, as well.

For more information, you can call: 1-877-At-Avera or go to their website at Avera.org.