Learning to Let Go of Tech Gadgets

ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser shares how getting "unplugged" will help you in social situations.
4:49 | 09/29/15

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Transcript for Learning to Let Go of Tech Gadgets
2% back at the grocery store... And 3% back on gas... Vince of the flying branzinos got a bankamericard cash rewards credit card, causbehe me N hiarlivis ngjug mp ugthinoph Ro s,ho but he'd rather not earn cash back that way. The spectac of rewarding connections. Ne or at a bank of America nyoear U. This youtube parody, viewed over 13 million times revealing dinnertime forever changed. Dad. Sorry. Must have been a little distracted. Before we had our phones conversation was the way in which we satisfied our need for stimulation and now we have so many other ways to be stimulated that we've sort of forgotten what conversation offers. Reporter: In a recent "The New York times" article and in her book "Reclaiming conversation, the power of talk in a digital age," mit professor sherry turkle says Hur dependence on technology has dialed down human contact. Face-to-face conversation, conversation where you make eye contact, conversation where you are giving your full attention to someone else lays the groundwork for empathy. Reporter: But 78% of people say using their phones in a group setting is a way to share, not to disengage. A lot of types I'll bring up a picture of my family for my friends who haven't met my family or I'll bring up something I saw on instagram that I thought was really funny. A lot of types it just ends up adding to the conversation rather than taking away from it. Reporter: Yet professor turkle says being constantly plugged in ultimately makes it harder for people to think for themselves. We think we're doing ourselves a favor by sort of always being able to distract ourselves, but actually we're working against our best interests. For knowing who you are and really developing our own identity. And rich joins us right now. I was struck -- not only does it make it harder to think for ourself but prevent kids from developing empathy. Surveys are done and finding college students are 40% less empathetic now than they were decades ago. Before there was this connection and that's Elie worrisome when you think of what kind of a world are we making if people don't have empathy. What role are parents playing in this? I think an important role. You know, when we're with our kids how often are there but we're not fully with them. I think about types I've taken my son to Citi field to a baseball game and in between pitches or innings I'm checking my device. We're not just there in the moment. Letting that silence go and letting things develop. In those silences that you can learn so much but we have become not comfortable with just downtime, with just letting it develop. So what should we do about this? Well, I think there are a few exercises that people can try and they're there are. So the first one is try going for a walk with somebody, okay, with no electronic device on you. Keep it home. Keep it home. If it's on your person you'll be thinking about it, feeling the vibration. That's one thing even if it's in your pocket, it's there. It changes the inaction you're thinking there's a break here, is it okay, can I reach for that device. I'm not really in this moment enjoying it with that person. Try ten minutes and see how you feel. The second activity is at home create a sacred space and I think a great place is the dinner table. No phones at the dinner table. No phones out, no phones again not on their person. My son ? the story of M lye if? Welcome back to "Gma." Time for the "Heat index" and this morning's hot button. Letting go of the phone, learning to talk again. A recent study found 82% of adults know using their phone in social situaurts their ability to have face-to- conversations. It's a problem highlighted in an art ecl that went viral in "The new Yo timrkes" a drnd. Besser has moreart of our screentervention series. Our technology keeps us constantly connected and plugged in. He Y,jake, you want to pass the salt, please. Also has a downside. Take at the pope and such contentment just taking it in and it was so startling to see the difference this woman without a device and everybody else hoss's trying to -- not even seeing the pope -- Life is passing them by. It was really good, rich. Really good. Next up on our "Gma heat

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