Why Maria Shriver Wants You to Put Your Phone Down



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Maria Shriver is blaming one thing for the rise of anxiety and loneliness spanning generations – cellphones.

In an interview with CNN, the NBC correspondent and mom of four shared her feelings about our obsession with cell phones, revealing she is concerned the technology is causing “mental health challenges” because we no longer have face-to-face conversations.

“I get in an elevator and people don’t even look up,” she told CNN. “There’s no denying that is all coinciding with these epidemics of anxiety and loneliness across generations. We’re technically connected, but we’re not connected.”

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Today is World Mental Health Day, and I've been thinking that when negative thoughts come in, greet it, be compassionate to it, and then tell it to move on. Remember your mind is your greatest asset. Greet it every morning with a smile, and say we are in this together. I’ve been thinking that we all could be a little nicer to each other, we all could be there for each other a little more, we all could check in on each other. This is my list to care for your mental health, but how do you care for your own mental health or for others around you? Let me know in the comments below, and tag a friend to let them know you are thinking about them on this important day! If we all checked in on each other, think how we could help move humanity forward just a little more. #worldsmentalhealthday

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“I think we have real mental health challenges due to our lack of connection,” she said. “[Talking] makes me feel understood, makes me feel I’m looking at someone and I’m finding common ground. I’m hearing them, I’m listening to how they got to where they are.”

“Everybody’s obsessed with their phone,” Shriver told CNN. “Loneliness, anxiety, depression, trauma, all these things, I think, is coming from the lack of talking.”

When it comes to her home life, Shriver told CNN she has a strict policy about phones at the dinner table.

“They know when they come for Sunday dinner, they don’t have the phone,” Shriver said of her four children – and new son-in-law Chris Pratt. “It’s down in the kitchen. And if I see it, I say ‘phone’ and they put it away. There’s no substitute for human connection.”