CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There is a disturbing new study about how your child’s smartphone could be affecting their mood.

The study’s author found a link between technology and depression, after looking at surveys from millions of teens and young adults.

Like an imaginary friend, a smartphone never leaves your side. Unfortunately, that technology is replacing time with real friends, according to a new study. Dr. Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University Psychology professor, looked at surveys from 11 million teens and young adults.

“It’s cutting off this face-to-face interaction, which is so good for mental health happiness,” said Dr. Twenge.

In fact, the study’s author found the technology can lead to feelings of inadequacy, and even worse, isolation and a pattern of loneliness.

“Teens are telling us they are suffering and we need to listen to them and take that seriously,” explained Dr. Twenge.

Dr. Twenge even took steps with her own children after the study.

“I really did this, I got up from my desk took my kids Kindle Fires they used to watch videos and put them away in a desk drawer,” said Dr. Twenge.

Dr. Twenge recommends other parents encourage their children to spend more time with their friends in person. She also recommends putting off the purchase of a smartphone until high school.