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They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other.Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without i Pads or i Phones.
What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior?
These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household.
The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns.
The advent of the smartphone and its cousin the tablet was followed quickly by hand-wringing about the deleterious effects of “screen time.” But the impact of these devices has not been fully appreciated, and goes far beyond the usual concerns about curtailed attention spans.
The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health.
We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned.