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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

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Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

The Atlantic,

5 min read
5 take-aways
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What's inside?

Smartphones are taking a toll on the mental health of today’s adolescents.

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Today’s adolescents have never experienced a world without the Internet. Most of them own smartphones and spend hours each week on social media. But while many parents may feel relieved about their teens’ seeming disinterest in driving, drinking and dating, they may be overlooking the effect that constant Internet access has on their children’s mental well-being. In an eye-opening article written for The Atlantic, psychology professor Jean Twenge points to a growing body of evidence suggesting that extensive smartphone use among teens is driving today’s youngest generation to “the brink of a mental health crisis.” getAbstract recommends her cautionary tale to parents, educators and social media professionals.


Behavioral changes from one generation to the next typically occur gradually. However, shifts in teen behavior from the millennial generation to the generation succeeding it have been drastic and unprecedented. These profound changes began around 2012 – the year when the percentage of Americans owning a smartphone surpassed the 50% mark. The smartphone and social media define “iGen,” the generation born between 1995 and 2012. The omnipresence of the smartphone affects teenagers in every part of the United States, regardless of social class and ethnic background...

About the Author

Jean Twenge is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

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