Smartphone era leads to more depressed teens and suicides
While the rise of the smartphone has allowed drivers to get from point "A" to point "B" without getting lost, or has reminded countless people to take their medications on time or not to miss an appointment, there has been a downside to all of this constant reminding. According to a report in The Atlantic, adolescents growing up in the smartphone era are more prone to suffering through fits of depression and having thoughts of suicide. The author of the Atlantic piece, Jean M. Twenge, puts those born between 1995 and 2012 into a group she calls iGen. These are the people who have never had to live without an internet connection in their lives, and they are even more depressed than Millennials. Twenge puts the blame clearly on the tool of the iGen category which is the smartphone.
The magazine quotes some interesting stats. Eight graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 times more likely to be unhappy than others their age who use social media less. Those spending six to nine hours a week on social media are 47% more likely to be unhappy than those who use social media less. The data does work the other way. Those spending an above average amount of time with friends are 20% less likely to be unhappy.
So for those who fit in the iGen category, keep this simple rule in mind. "The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression." Whether you're a parent of an iGen teen or you are an iGen teen, this is an important thing to know.