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The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior?I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”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.We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned.Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear.
It’s not an exaggeration to describe i Gen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household.The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns.Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.To those of us who fondly recall a more analog adolescence, this may seem foreign and troubling.
Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.