Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Excerpt from this article:

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

…the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

Today’s teens are also less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

…Even driving, a symbol of adolescent freedom inscribed in American popular culture, from Rebel Without a Cause to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, has lost its appeal for today’s teens. Nearly all Boomer high-school students had their driver’s license by the spring of their senior year; more than one in four teens today still lack one at the end of high school. For some, Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.” She finally got her license six months after her 18th birthday. In conversation after conversation, teens described getting their license as something to be nagged into by their parents—a notion that would have been unthinkable to previous generations.

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Nielsen: Age 10 is mobile adoption sweet spot

Kid-Smartphone

Excerpt from this article:

Given the ubiquity of smartphones among today’s kids, gaining insight on usage patterns and mobile motivations is an ongoing endeavor—and one that Nielsen has undertaken in its most recent Mobile Kids Report.

Released today, the Q4 2016 study examined smartphone usage among US kids ages six to 12, as well as their parents’ attitudes towards mobile devices and wireless services.

Among the findings is the fact that age 10 appears to be a sweet spot for mobile service adoption (22%), followed by age eight (16%). Ages nine and 11 are tied at 15%. Just under half (45%) of US kids receive a service plan between the ages of 10 and 12…

Of the parents surveyed, 90% say being able to easily reach their child was their top reason for providing wireless service before the age of 13, while 80% admit they give their child access to wireless service in order to track his or her location.

 

Rude Daycare Shames Moms for Using Phones During Pick-Up

Excerpt from this article:

According to Mom.me’s Jeanne Sager, the sign was posted at a Texas daycare, where mother Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz spotted it and posted a photo of it to Facebook. Of course, the combination of daycare and phones is like blood in the water for the sanctimony sharks, and the picture is blowing up with more than 380,000 shares so far. A lot of them are cheering on the daycare, because you just know they’ve been waiting their whole lives to talk about this kind of “neglect,” preferably with a lot of exclamation points and pointed comments about how they “never” do that.

Still, many of the comments are defending the hypothetical phone-moms, pointing out that there are a lot of things these people could be forced to take care of at right that moment. (Are you a doctor? A lawyer? Waiting for important medical test results? Maybe you’d better pick up your phone when it rings.)

 

Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within 15-minutes of waking up, reports suggests

Excerpt from this article:

While the trend in homes is to increasingly spend more time talking to virtual assistant Alexa, a recent report suggests that we reach for our smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up and our phones will likely remain with us throughout the day long after we have said goodnight, Alexa.

 

Hooked on Our Smartphones

Excerpt from this article:

“Most people now check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes,” Ms. Colier wrote. “And young adults are now sending an average of 110 texts per day.” Furthermore, she added, “46 percent of smartphone users now say that their devices are something they ‘couldn’t live without.’”

In “The World Unplugged Project,” investigators at the University of Maryland reported that “a clear majority” of students in the 10 countries studied experienced distress when they tried to go without their devices for 24 hours. One in three people admitted they’d rather give up sex than their smartphones.

I fear we are turning into digital robots. Will future generations know how to converse with one another face to face? Will they notice the birds, trees, sunrise and the people with whom they share the planet?

Instead of visiting art galleries, attending concerts or walking on picturesque wooded paths, one woman I know who came to Woodstock, N.Y., last summer spent the weekend on her iPad communing with her many “friends” on Facebook. All I could think was “What a waste!”

 

Married to Their Smartphones (Oh, and to Each Other, Too)

Excerpt from this article:

Sherry Zheng was cleaning up from dinner, ready to toss out the remaining fried rice, when she grabbed her phone from the counter to text her husband, Chris. He was upstairs bathing their three children. “Should I save you the leftovers?”

Her phone vibrated: “Sure.”

Ms. Zheng, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mother in Oakton, Va., describes her marriage as happy, and she’s thankful for those kinds of small conveniences that her smartphone affords her. But like most couples, there are also times, when her husband pecks away at a screen, that she wants to toss his device away with the table scraps.

…“Can’t you just acknowledge me?” she hollered. “I’m standing right here.” Mr. Zheng promptly placed his phone on the table. (Since then, she has made her point a bit more clearly by texting him her questions, even if they’re in the same room, since she knows she’ll get a response.)

We live in a culture of dings, beeps and buzzes, as most people manage everything from bank accounts to fantasy football teams on their smartphones.

Spouses may pout if their partners don’t “like” their every Facebook post, an expectation, for some, of marital boosting. Pull out your device to check the baseball scores while on a date with your wife, and you’re bound to get an eye roll.

Type an actress’s name into IMDb while watching TV and suddenly you’re on a 10-minute bender into the black hole of your screen, distracted by a text or game notification. “Are you even watching?” your husband snaps.

…Experts say that smartphone use is meddling in our marriages in ways that are sometimes benign but often frustrating, causing quarrels and forcing couples to address an ever more important question: At what point are we choosing to spend more time with our smartphones than with our spouses?

 

Indian women face ‘digital purdah’

Excerpt from this article on Warc (thanks for sharing Rina!):

India has one of the world’s wider gender gaps as regards phone ownership as 43% of men have one compared to just 28% of women; the proportions are broadly equal in other major regional markets such as China (49% v 48%) and Indonesia (43% v 38%).

…There is a reluctance among parts of a socially conservative male population to see wives and daughters carrying phones, which they regard with suspicion when in female hands.

“Mobile phones are really dangerous for women,” according to an elder in one Uttar Pradesh village which has confiscated mobile phones from every woman under the age of 18. “Girls are more susceptible to bringing shame upon themselves,” he added.