“One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone — she’s had an iPhone since she was 11 — sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends,” Jean M. Twenge writes for The Atlantic. “She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. ‘We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. 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. 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,” Twenge writes. “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,” Twenge writes. “What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior? …It was exactly the moment when the proportion of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 percent.”

Apple's revolutionary iPhone

Apple’s revolutionary iPhone

 
“The more I pored over yearly surveys of teen attitudes and behaviors, and the more I talked with young people like Athena, the clearer it became that theirs is a generation shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media. I call them iGen. Born between 1995 and 2012, members of this generation are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet,” Twenge writes. “iGen’s oldest members were early adolescents when the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, and high-school students when the iPad entered the scene, in 2010. A 2017 survey of more than 5,000 American teens found that three out of four owned an iPhone.”

“More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been,” Twenge writes. “Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.”

Reams more in the full article – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: revolutionary |ˌrevəˈlo͞oSHəˌnerē|

adjective
1 involving or causing a complete or dramatic change: Apple’s revolutionary iPhone.
2 engaged in or promoting revolution: Apple’s revolutionary iPhone.

Good parenting is good parenting.

For even more proof that Steve Jobs was an unparalleled visionary (as if we needed any), from The New York Times, September 10, 2014, Nick Bilton recounts a conversation he had with Steve Jobs in late 2010:

Bilton: So, your kids must love the iPad?
Jobs: They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.

“Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends,” Bilton reported. “I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night.”

Bilton reported, “Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Read more in the full article here.

SEE ALSO:
Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent – September 11, 2014