The book studies kids born in 1995 and later, who now are "the first generation to spend their adolescence with a smartphone". That has made a lot of difference in their lives. Two out of three U.S. teens own an iPhone.They participate in social activities at a significantly lower rate than their millennial predecessors.
She references a lot of studies. Some of which make one depressed:
- Depression, anxiety, and loneliness have shot upward since 2012, with happiness declining.
- The teen suicide rate increased by more than 50 percent, as did the number of teens with clinical-level depression.
- Sixth graders who spent just five days at a camp without using screens ended the time better at reading emotions on others.
- They read books, magazines and newspapers much less than previous generations did as teens. In the annual Monitoring the Future survey, the percentage of high school seniors who read a nonrequired book or magazine nearly every day dropped from 60 percent in 1980 to only 16 percent in 2015. Perhaps as a result, average SAT critical reading scores have dropped 14 points since 2005.
This isn’t to say that today's teens don’t have a lot going for them. They are physically safer and more tolerant than previous generations were. They also seem to have a stronger work ethic and more realistic expectations than millennials did at the same age. But the smartphone threatens to derail them before they even get started.