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I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology.Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum.They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other.Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without i Pads or i Phones.
It’s not an exaggeration to describe i Gen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades.These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household.The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns.In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.At first I presumed these might be blips, but the trends persisted, across several years and a series of national surveys. The biggest difference between the Millennials and their predecessors was in how they viewed the world; teens today differ from the Millennials not just in their views but in how they spend their time.