For the past quarter of a century, Dr. Jean Twenge has been conducting research into generational differences and the impact that technology is having on society’s young people.
Her findings have been both terrifying and worrying, as she has revealed that an increase in mobile phone use has caused a surge in the number of suicides among teenagers.
Dr. Twenge’s research reached a peak in 2011-12 when iPhones were owned by 50% of young people and this is when the statistics get really horrifying.
According to the research from Dr. Twenge and figures from Occupational Therapist and writer with yourot.com, Victoria Prooday;
In line with the increased use of the iPhone (this iGen study specifically looked at Apple’s iPhone, as opposed to other smart phone brands), research showed that children were being deprived of some of the fundamental elements of parenting and growing up, which adults nowadays would have taken for granted as they grew up.
Some of the worrying findings include the following, which children have experience of in their homes;
When this writer was growing up (she is now 30), being bored was part and parcel of growing up. It was like a rite of passage – something you had to go through to earn the progression into adulthood.
Without ever being bored, how does a child learn how to develop initiative, innovation, imagination or creativity?
If they are constantly being entertained and pandered to, they are never hearing the words ‘No’, ‘You can’t have that’ or ‘Entertain Yourself’. These are not just words, they are formative phrases, which turn children into adults and teach people how to function in a world in which ‘Yes’ isn’t always the answer.
While the research is truly terrifying, you might now ask what you can do to combat these figures and stand up in the fight against youth suicide and depression.
In a wonderful blog, available on yourmodernfamily.com, the writer gives some stellar advice, some of which I have included below;