Your cellphone may be causing you anxiety, experts warn

A new "GMA" parenting alert looks into how much anxiety using your phone may be causing you, or your children.
4:30 | 07/28/17

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Transcript for Your cellphone may be causing you anxiety, experts warn
It is time now for our series cracking the kid code. And how hooked are your kids on their phones? T.J. Holmes is here and, T.J., you gave up your phone for an experiment. How did that go. This was scary. I talk about people being hooked on their phone. I saw how people physically -- your body reacts by a simple ping. That little thing can set you off and stress you out. I'm a little stressed already. A little stress but that's not something you want your kid to be going through all day long. Your phone, a gateway to friends, work and fun. But new research says our devices may cause anxiety. The more people use their phone, the more anxious they are about using their phone. Reporter: Nancy's research at California state university would make any smartphone junkie shiver. It suggests our phones are keeping us in a persistent anxious state where the only fix is the phone. So if you're constantly connected, you're going to feel anxiety and the more people feel anxiety that can lead to other things like mental health and physical ailments. Reporter: So how much phone anxiety are we experiencing? Cheever runs an experiment that measures anxiety when your phone rings or pings. To see it in action we enlist two teenagers and me. It's going to be fun, right? There's a catch. To try to throw us off researchers don't tell us what's really going on. Instead we're asked to watch a video as part of an experiment on test anxiety and put electrodes on my fingers. I'll put your phones back here because they might interfere with the equipment. Is the key. Why? With the phones out of reach Cheever's team is able to track changes in our heart rate and measure per per race as she calls our phones and sends us text messages that we're not able to look at. About 4 billion -- Physiological arousal spikes quite eight bit right after he hears the text come in. Reporter: Cheever says most people have an emotional response that floods our body with stress hormones when we hear our phones. The question is, how much does it affect us? You can see immediately he started sweating quite a bit. He's anxious about his phone. Reporter: During the five types she texts and two times she calls I start to sweat. What does that tell you about me from what you just observe sfwld it tells me that when you hear a notification, you become anxious. Yeah. You're the one that took my phone from me. If you let it sit there -- Reporter: Now for the teens. First up Kiki. I'll go ahead and text her. Whose biggest response is four times higher than mine. She's really reacting. Yeah. And it keeps going up here. My goodness. Reporter: Then gabby has the highest stress response of all of us. Psychotherapist Nancy Collier author of "The power of off." How much damage is being done to a child putting themselves through that level of anxiety? Let's meet in 30 years and we'll know the answer to that. You think we're in trouble down the road. I do. Now that you have seen the results what do you think now? I should probably turn it off for sometimes during the day? I'm not convinced it'll be that easy. You sound like you can't function without your phone. The way we're living doesn't actually serve our deeper well-being. All of this attention to technology and the mind and thoughts is coming at a great expense to what human beings need to feel well. Okay, so there could be some consequences down the road that generation we have now are the Guinea pigs. We've never gone through this before. We could see maybe higher levels of depression and loneliness because we're so caught up in this device they might be missing the world around them. As an adult you need to realize your kids learn from you too and I had to learn to personally turn my phone off at night. Try not to pay attention to it when you're with your family and kind of have downtime. Just like everything else we are setting the example for them. If they see us and there's so much importance in this versus cooking dinner or having a conversation with them they'll pick up on that behavior. We asked our audience can you go without your phone for five minutes? Hopefully so, right, but 85% did respond and say, yes, they could go 85%. 85% said yes. Can you go without your phone for five minutes. Y yes. Okay, give it to me. I'll give it back to you five minutes from now. Do a little test here but

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