UPDATE August 8, 2017 Click to hear an interview of Jean Twenge author of the Atlantic piece on NPR
A recent article in the Atlantic tells how the iPhone has altered a generation like never before and questions the damage done to adolescents.
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
The author notes that the drive for Independence and dating and has dropped. Childhood has stretched into High School--Because their social life revolves around cell phones.
Here are some quotes:
"There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness."
"Social-networking sites like Facebook promise to connect us to friends. But the portrait of iGen teens emerging from the data is one of a lonely, dislocated generation."
"Since 2007, the homicide rate among teens has declined, but the suicide rate has increased. As teens have started spending less time together, they have become less likely to kill one another, and more likely to kill themselves. In 2011, for the first time in 24 years, the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate."
"The correlations between depression and smartphone use are strong enough to suggest that more parents should be telling their kids to put down their phone."
"I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.
Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it."
"What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior? .. the proportion of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 percent."
"[T]he twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy."