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Smartphones Destroying Generation, Psychology Professor Says

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By    |   Friday, 04 Aug 2017 11:45 AM

Have smartphones destroyed a generation? A San Diego State University professor of Psychology and author seems to think so.

Writing for The Atlantic, Jean M Twenge noted that smartphones and tablets have far-reaching effects on younger generations who grew up using these devices and whose lives have been shaped by the rise of social media.

Twenge refers to this generation as iGen.

"The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health," she noted.

"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."

Twenge added that members of this generation were delaying taking on both responsibilities and pleasures of adulthood such as driving, working and dating, as well as spending less time on homework.

"So what are they doing with all that time?" she asked. "They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed."

This is not a new concern, but rather a topic that parents have been fretting over for several years.

Teen Safe lists cyberbullying, sexting and smart phone addiction as realistic repercussions of increased usage of social media among teenagers.

Other dramatic effects that comes with increased screen time include a rise in depression, reported Twenge.

"The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression," she said.

"Eighth-graders who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27 percent, while those who play sports, go to religious services, or even do homework more than the average teen cut their risk significantly."

Driving home this point, the Pew Research Center reported that "24 percent of teens go online 'almost constantly,' facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones."

"What’s at stake isn’t just how kids experience adolescence," Twenge said.

"The constant presence of smartphones is likely to affect them well into adulthood. Among people who suffer an episode of depression, at least half become depressed again later in life. Adolescence is a key time for developing social skills; as teens spend less time with their friends face-to-face, they have fewer opportunities to practice them. In the next decade, we may see more adults who know just the right emoji for a situation, but not the right facial expression."

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Have smartphones destroyed a generation? A San Diego State University professor of Psychology and author seems to think so.
smartphones, destroy, generation, psychology
411
2017-45-04
Friday, 04 Aug 2017 11:45 AM
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