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Friday, August 04, 2017

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

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. “We go to the mall,” she said. “Do your parents drop you off?,” I asked, recalling my own middle-school days, in the 1980s, when I’d enjoy a few parent-free hours shopping with my friends. “No—I go with my family,” she replied. “We’ll go with my mom and brothers and walk a little behind them. I just have to tell my mom where we’re going. I have to check in every hour or every 30 minutes.”

Those mall trips are infrequent—about once a month. 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. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. “It’s good blackmail,” Athena said. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.)

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..

More here

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes & they are NOT TOYS
Should have to be 18 to use one !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

True ....if not, the whole system will be Jammed up with
kids Playing on them and No Cloud will be Big Enough !!!
PLus the Dangers of kids using them > NOT Toys

Anonymous said...

Driving > age 18 Not 16 . not the 70's anymore !!!
Phones > age 18
Draft > age 21 > 18 Too Young for War
Drink Alcohol > age 18 > 18 for sex > so 18 = adult

Anonymous said...

I have fired young people over their phone addiction. When I tell them to leave it in their car or their bag they tear up and look at me like I am crazy.

Anonymous said...

I agree on everything except the draft age. I was 18 - and kinda lost in society or direction - when I was drafted into the Army. I won't say it saved my life, but it certainly changed it dramatically, all to the better. Eighteen is cool for the draft. (But I'll agree with you again: If they can put an M-16 in your hands, you should also be allowed to put a damn beer in your hands, too. Hopefully not at the same time, though.)
One more thing: Driving at 18 is good. BUT make the penalty for DUI between the ages of 18 and 21 a brutal one, something like five years until you can apply to drive again.
Also revoke for a year if in an accident while texting. THAT is a MAJOR problem nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Go to a ball game. People aren't watching the game. They are texting or talking.
Still se it all on the roads driving, even with the fines.
Was visiting the zoo last weekend. A family evidently had company. A lady asked one of the kids what she wanted to do. The answer.."just go to the beach and talk on my phone".
It's sad. Best thing that could happen is to pull the plug on cell phones, etc. Put pay phones back up. People would have to get out and talk again and be real people. Not just a device.
Jobs would come back also by pulling the plug on the robots.

Anonymous said...

It's out of control, but who will?

Anonymous said...

132
How about people be prosecuted under Common Law for injuries to body and property, like the US Constitution states?
How about, if you didn't hurt anyone, then there is no crime?

If you harm a person or damage property, then you pay a price.
That is Common Law.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

You also see 2 people go out to dinner together and then sit at the table and not talk to each other because they are too busy staring at their phones. Why even go out together if you're not going to communicate with the real person across the table?

Anonymous said...

Social skills are dying quickly with this generation. Less that half of the ones (teens 15 to 18) I come into contact with can converse person-to-person with an adult with any type of ease. Even less than that look you in the eyes when shaking your hand.
Very weird.

Anonymous said...

Yes they did. Just look at my kids.