MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW)-- With the constant urge to have our cell phones and tablets near us, it could be hurting the people we love most.
Matt Hoenecke has been a waiter at 2510 in Wausau for two years.
One thing he's noticed is people are using technology at the dinner table.
"Sometimes I wonder why they even come in," said Hoenecke.
"It used to be that, that was a time to withdrawal from the outside world and just connect with the family," said Sue Priebe, a psychology instructor at North Central Technical College.
"But now we have TVs on, we have cell phones going and computers sitting right there," said Priebe. "That's hard to compete with."
Experts say it's crucial to spend quality family time without technology involved. They say putting cell phones and other gaming devices away is something that could positively change your child's social development.
"One benefit to being with family is to learn the give and take of society," said Priebe. "How to learn how to communicate what to say and how to say it."
Without face to face interaction experts say children could be missing out.
For parents if you're putting technology first, your child might notice.
"Sometimes children get distressed because now they have to compete with technology for their parents attention and focus," said Priebe.
We caught up with the Johnston's of Wausau. They work hard to have a healthy mix of technology in their home.
"I don't want the kids to feel like I am multitasking them into my day I want them to feel important," said Tanya Johnston.
Tanya has five children, so she is used to technology being used in her household.
"It's just a matter of limiting the screen time saying, OK well we can use it a certain amount of time a day," said Johnston.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours of screen time per day for children over the age of two, younger than that no screen time," said Priebe.
Experts say in a world filled with technology balance is key.
"Schedule some one on one time with your child it could be once a day or once a week," said Priebe. "It will help with bonding and developing that relationship with your child."
And that's what really matters.
Experts say a good way to create technology free family time is to have a basket where cell phones and other electronics are turned in for a periods of time.