Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation? By Jean M. Twenge

1076 Words 5 Pages
Many writers post articles about this new generation destroying department stores, diamonds, golf, and more. Jean M. Twenge’s article titled “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” appears to take on the same point of view. However, she focused on behaviors and emotional health. She avoided bashing the post-Millennial generation (referred to as iGen) and instead studied the effects of the smartphone. Twenge completed research to show that, while physically safer, the new generation of teenagers is suffering mentally.
When it comes to the thesis, two sentences capture the author’s intention. Twenge argued that the “arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions
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Some statistics were more prominent and therefore more effective towards building the author’s argument. Since Twenge’s theses argued negative effects on mental health, her data about loneliness, depression, and suicide were vital. Teens spend many hours on their smartphones and social media; research is not needed to verify that. However, research has shown that the popular leisure activity does not bring overall happiness to its users. More time spent on screen activities generates troubling emotions in teens. The author pointed out a high spike in loneliness in 2013. Unhappiness and loneliness leads to depression and this shocking fact: eighth-graders with heavy social media use “increase their risk of depression by 27 percent” (Twenge 10). On the contrary, sports or religious activities cut it significantly. It was saddening to hear girls ending their lives at 12 or 14 before it starts and raised questions why people continue to use social media if it created …show more content…
The teen suicide rate, according to Twenge, “for the first time in 24 years… was higher than the teen homicide rate” (11). I reread her statement a few times. While the decreasing homicide rate was excellent news, rising suicide rates are not a positive replacement. Twenge did mention that technology is but one of many causes to suicide, but content on social media like cyberbullying encourages smartphones as a reason.
Not every piece of data effectively strengthened Twenge’s theses. The driving statistics and a decline in working adolescents did not fit the theme of technology-related statistics. While interesting, the decreases resulted not from smartphones, but more from a change of the times. The economy and parenting styles impacted these teenage behaviors, along with location. As urban areas expand, less teenagers need to drive because public transportation is available.
Throughout high school, I never felt like my experience matched the status quo or what was expected to happen. I chose to stay home instead of attending a party. If I stayed up late at night, it was from completing a homework assignment. The article surprised me when it claimed “18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds” (Twenge 7). It relieved me, as well, because it demonstrated it was not unordinary to go out less. And barring the last years of high school, I traveled with my parents instead of going places alone, similar to

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