2 min read ⌚
Is there life after smartphones? How do the little black screens affect our reality?
About Jean M. Twenge
Jean Twenge teaches psychology at San Diego State University.
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
Typically, people change through a slow evolution, and so do their behavioral patterns.
However, in the modern era, drastic and unprecedented changes have occurred to the millennial generation and the behavior of teens who belong to it.
The changes began in 2012, the year which was also marked by the increase of smartphone users – more than 50% of Americans were owners of smartphones.
The smartphones, and the social media craze that accompany them define the generation born between 1995 and 2012, otherwise known as iGen.
Knowing that these devices are part of the definition of a generation shows the massive effect smartphones have on everyday teenage life.
Today’s generations are much safer than those that preceded them: they prefer to stay at home with their smartphones than to experiment with alcohol, party, and drunk-drive.
They also date less, which increases the average age of the beginning of sexual intercourse. As a result, teenage pregnancies reached an all-time low in 2016.
However, should we be happy, or should we be worried?
These facts and statistics are a result of the sad truth that teenagers no longer know how to develop friendships and healthy human relationships.
Most of the social life of today’s teens take place on the screen of their smartphones.
But, this is not just some trend that shapes a generation – this may be a trend that destroys one.
Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that social media has an adverse effect on the mental health of its users.
Feelings of loneliness and being “left out” are not rare among teenagers.
Studies become making a connection between the average time spent on a phone and the levels of one’s happiness.
In fact, the statistics are gruesome: in 2011 the suicide rate surpassed the rate of teen homicide for the first time in almost three decades.
Many believe that the reasons for such cases are connected to teens spending less time together and feeling more lonely and depressed.
Key Lessons from “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”
1. Boys vs. Girls Depression Rates
2. Learn how to find your way
3. See the big picture
The Perceived Safety of Contemporary Teens
Today’s generations prefer to stay at home with their smartphones than to experiment with alcohol, party, and drunk-drive. They date less, which resulted in teenage pregnancies reaching an all-time low in 2016.
The Real Danger
Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that social media has an adverse effect on the mental health of its users. Studies become making a connection between the average time spent on a phone and the levels of one’s happiness.
Boys vs. Girls Depression Rates
Studies show that girls are more prone to depression than boys. No one knows the right reason why, but one explanation argues that girls are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying.
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“Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” QuotesThe arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. Click To Tweet Across a range of behaviors – drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised –18-year olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Click To Tweet Girls use social media more often, giving them additional opportunities to feel excluded and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them. Click To Tweet