The iGen and Loneliness

A recent book called, "iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us" by Jean Twengehas raised some worrisome issues about a generation of kids who are the first of their kind. This generation of kids is the first to grow up with the presence of smartphones and new-age technology at their fingertips from the moment they were born. As a result, Twenge made some unsettling conclusions after researching the “iGen’s” tendencies.

Kids in the iGeneration are:

  • Dating less.
  • Not hanging out with friends as much.
  • Feeling lonelier than generations before.
  • Feeling depressed at a young age.
  • Less likely to get enough sleep.

As a teenager myself, these statistics hold true and are evident in many people I know. In my opinion, without a conscious effort to retract our dependency on smartphones and the instant gratification that technology provides, the mental health of the average teenager will only get worse.

Suggestions from a teen’s perspective to combat issues of the iGeneration:

  • Make sure that you and your kids are self-aware when it comes to how much you truly rely on your phones throughout the day. I know several kids who are constantly scrolling through Instagram, replying to snapchats for fear that they won’t be occupied for even one minute. Understanding that social media and smartphones provide mindless distraction is important to reducing dependence.
  • Set a good example for your kids by shutting off your phones when picking them up from school, at the dinner table, and engage in vital conversations.
  • Check in with your kids to make sure they aren’t up late on technology that could possibly hinder their sleep schedule.
  • Bring up this “iGen” topic and mention a few of the statistics found in Jean Twenge’s book to your kids and have a discussion about whether or not your kids think these facts are true in their lives and if so, what to do to prevent it.
  • Don't let your children play on ipads, phones, etc. when they should be engaged with others. Even when at the grocery store or in the car, there isn't a reason they cannot just talk to you or look around. Kids don't have to be entertained all the time. Even though we might want to be connected, we don't have to be.

or more information on the book "iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us" and reactions to it from a kid's perspective, watch my Fox News Good Day Charlotte segment.

Other topics from a kid's perspective can be found on my website, emmahusk.com.  If you have any questions or topics you'd like to have me raise with kids and teens, please email emmahusk10@gmail.com. 

Aimee Symington