Why Todays Super Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. Thoughts from iGen by Dr. Jean TwengeThe iGen generation, born somewhere between 2009-2015, have never known a world without the internet and cell phones, today 2 out of 3 have iPhones. They are super connected and spend an average of 6 plus hours a day connected through their phones or iPads. Thus the “i” in iGen stands for “internet” They spend more time txting. instragraming and snapchatting than they spend face to face with their friends. “We like our phones more than we like people” says one 13 year old quoted in Twenges book. They check their phones roughly 80 times a day. They read fewer books, their SAT scores are lower and they spend more time alone. They are less happy and lonelier than any other generation at their age. Rates of teenage depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011.They are not eager to grow up. The new term “Adulting” means being responsible and they think that is too hard and not as much fun as being a child. They get their driver licenses later and are content to go with parents to movies and other outings while constantly checking their devices. They equate childhood with happiness and freedom from responsibility. They’re perfectly happy to let their parents solve their problems, provide them what they want and shuttle them around. They experience less freedom of independence and from the consequences of their decisions. They are less confident and date at half the rate that Boomers dated. Far fewer iGen’ers hold jobs, about half, then did previous generations and they worry about being financially secure.Why is the iGen culture so radically different from that experienced by their parents or grandparents? This dramatic cultural change was wrought not just by parents but by a combination of technology, media, education and business. So what does this all mean? The short answer is they are not ready for the responsibilities of adult hood and they don’t want to be. As one college freshman told a startled faculty “We want you to treat us as children not adults”.
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