Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?"

This title looks very much like clickbait – but in fact it points to a long Atlantic article by Jean M. Twenge (of "narcissism epidemic" fame). She is pitching her new book, which is bound to be again "controversial" – iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us. She says all sorts of troubling statistics reflecting the mental lives of American teens took an abrupt upward turn about 5 years ago – the year when smartphone ownership reached critical mass. For example, “boys’ depressive symptoms increased by 21 percent from 2012 to 2015, while girls’ increased by 50 percent." Also – and not completely unrelated, “three times as many 12-to-14-year-old girls killed themselves in 2015 as in 2007, compared with twice as many boys” (and “in 2011, for the first time in 24 years, the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate”). (see full post at isardamov.com).