Smartphones are meant to make our lives easier, and for the most part they do. They deliver us news, alerts for when our food is cooked, lets us hire rides, send emails, take amazing photos, offer up directions, play music, and so much more. It almost sounds like with all these amazing and convenient features, smartphones are anything but bad, right?
However in an article by Jean M. Twenge at The Atlantic, she found that maybe smartphones aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and that those born between 1995 to 2012 (who she refers to as the iGen generation) are affected more negatively by smartphones. In fact it seems that because of smartphones and the fact that we’re connected all the time has made iGen a more depressed generation compared to Millennials.
Twenge quotes a 13-year old named Athena (not her real name) who 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.” The article also goes on to present some interesting statistics, such as how eighth-graders who spend more than 10 hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to say they are unhappy compared to those who spend less time.
This is a stark contrast to those who spend an “above-average” amount of time with friends in-person, and are found to be 20% less likely to say they are unhappy compared to those who don’t spend as much in-person time with their peers. This is actually not the first time we’re hearing about how too much social media can be a bad thing, and hopefully with these studies parents can do something about it for the mental health of their kids.
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