Every generation of teens is shaped by the social, political, and economic events of the day. She identifies their unique qualities by analyzing four nationally representative surveys of 11 million teens since the s. Those surveys, which have asked the same questions and some new ones of teens year after year, allow comparisons among Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and iGens at exactly the same ages. In addition to identifying cross-generational trends in these surveys, Twenge tests her inferences against her own follow-up surveys, interviews with teens, and findings from smaller experimental studies. Here are just a few of her conclusions. Twenge finds that new media is making teens more lonely, anxious, and depressed, and is undermining their social skills and even their sleep.
A new study from researchers at the University of Oxford has tracked data from several hundred thousand subjects finding digital technology use accounts for less than half a percent of a young person's negative mental health. The research suggests everything from wearing glasses to not getting enough sleep have bigger negative effects on adolescent well-being than digital screen use. The effects of digital screen time on children's well-being and development is a source of huge debate at the moment. While concerns over the effects of these new devices on childhood development are not unwarranted, scientists have not been able to reach a clear consensus on the topic.
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All technology these days produces both good results and notable consequences. The internet is increasingly a perfect case study for this idea. While better connecting the world and democratizing information, the internet has also allowed individuals to hide behind masks of anonymity. Despite a more recent ramping up of awareness campaigns, cyberbullying facts and statistics indicate the problem is not going away anytime soon.