Maria Shriver thinks society's obsession with smartphones causes ''epidemics of anxiety and loneliness''.

The 63-year-old journalist - who is married to Arnold Schwarzenegger - has encouraged people to talk rather than spend all their times on their devices.

She said: ''People can sit down and find common subjects, find common ground. I'm a big believer that we're in desperate need as a country to find things that we can talk about, then we can listen and form relationships. Everybody's obsessed with their phone. Loneliness, anxiety, depression, trauma, all these things, I think, is coming from the lack of talking ... I get in an elevator and people don't even look up. 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.''

And Maria says there are ''real mental health challenges'' in the world, which she believes is ''due to lack of connection''.

She added: ''I think we have real mental health challenges due to our lack of connection. 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. And I think I'm having a shared experience. So to promote that at a company that big, I was like, yeah I'm trying to do that too.''

Maria urged her children to live ''life with purpose''.

She told CNN: ''My guidance is, you know, these are your siblings are what's real is this. So let's keep our eye on what's real. Let's have a life of faith. Let's have a life with purpose. Let's find something. I always say to them, you have to do something. You don't have to work with what I'm working with or what your dad's working with, but you have to find some way to be of service. That's real. And they listened to that.''