The Smartphone Has Pretty Much Destroyed Generation Z

Submitted by: normalfreak2 3 months ago in Lifestyle


Has technology made today's teen complacent? (Yes.)

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

From The Atlantic: 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. 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. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.
There are 28 comments:
Male 3,794
this is why our country sucks. everyone has a precious opinion to share with everyone. EVERYONE. people used to talk about poilitics once in a while. now it's thrust down your throat everyday from every side. im sure some will pin this on one side or the other but doing that is in and of itself an example of "my precious opinion must be heard"
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Male 149
Technology has spread the mind thin over the vast web of the internet, so thin in fact that face to face social skills are all but dead. Why get to know a "stranger" in public anymore? Hell a lot of people won't even make eye contact anymore. 
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Male 942
moldysod You hit that nail right on the head.  Social skills are dying.
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Male 677
Hand wringing has accompanied every technological advancement. 

"If God wanted us to wear shoes, he would have given us stronger feet.  Kids these days and their footwear - ruining society."
"Sure, wheels seem nice, but now kids just roll where they want to go instead of walking."

An article about actual instances of this (going back to fears about the printing press).
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2010/02/dont_touch_that_dial.html

Pretty sure we will still be okay.  
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Male 942
faustsshadow Those things, in the long run, advanced society.  Smartphone don't seem to me to be doing any such things.  Unless "checkin' twitter" or playing "pokemon" or "sexting" or any of the other silly, waste-of-time things people do on them somehow advances society.

It's not a fear of technology.  I've had smartphones, and while it was entertaining, that's all it was.  It didn't fill any real need whatsover.
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Male 1,273
cjeffblanchr So having a computer that you can carry around with you that is more powerful than the computers in the first shuttles we launched in to space that has the ability to access all the information in the world that previously you would have had to spend hours upon hours in libraries to find is not advancing society?  Having google maps at your fingertips alone is a huge advancement.  It's literally a computer you can carry with you, with endless apps that can make life easier.  

On a side note, I used to agree with you 100%.  I was a hold out, not getting a smart phone until last year, just using my trusty flip phone.  Now?  I honestly don't know what I would do without it.  It's my phone book, my map book, my personal planner, my e-mail machine and a veritable encyclopedia.

Also, let's look at the definition of society:
so·ci·e·ty
səˈsīədē/
noun
noun: society
  1. 1
  2. the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

  1. "drugs, crime, and other dangers to society"
  2. synonyms: | the community, the (general) public, the people, the population;Morecivilization, humankind, mankind, humanity"a danger to society"
    • the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations.
    • plural noun: societies

    • "the high incidence of violence in American society"
    • synonyms: | culture, community, civilization, nation, population"an industrial society"
    • a specified section of a community.

    • "no one in polite society uttered the word"
    • the aggregate of people who are fashionable, wealthy, and influential, regarded as forming a distinct group in a community.
    • noun: high society; plural noun: high societies

    • "a society wedding"
    • synonyms: | high society, polite society, the upper classes, the elite, the smart set, the beautiful people, the beau monde, the haut monde;Moreinformalthe upper crust, the top drawer"Sir Paul will help you enter society"
    • a plant or animal community.
  1. 2
  2. an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity.

  1. "the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals"
  2. synonyms: | association, club, group, circle, fellowship, guild, lodge, fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, sorority, league, union, alliance"a local history society"

What else do you describe social media as if not "an aggregate  of people in a more or less ordered community"?  Those social media sites are the very definition of our society and how we interact with each other.  By definition.
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Male 942
waldo863 Useful is not the same as necessary.  No one needs to have all the knowledge in the world in their pocket.  All that info will still be right there on the internet as soon as one gets to a computer.  Google maps is not necessary if people simply learn to pay attention to what's around them.  I don't deny that there's a use for them, but people take everything to the extreme.

Maybe it's not the same everywhere, but everywhere I've been, people can't stay off their phones long enough to walk straight and pay attention to what's going on around them in a public place. Go into a restaurant and 3/4ths of the people in groups can't stay off their phones long enough to actually hold a conversation with their companions.  This is not people using technology to make their lives easier--it's them using it to avoid actual real interactions with other people.  These things are getting worse year by year.

These are not signs of a society.  These are not social interactions, but just the opposite.   Your first definition... 

"the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community."

In no way can social media be defined as "people living together".
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Male 1,273
cjeffblanchr It's a different kind of society than we are used to, but it is a society all the same.  If we interact with these people on a daily basis, whether it's online or face to face, we are basically living with those people.  100 years ago, yeah, you could not include that as living with someone, but the world is a lot smaller now.  My sister that lives in CA, while I live in TX, and I are able to communicate on a daily basis, and we do so through social media on our phones.  Years past, we likely would have grown distant and lost touch with each other, as she lives half a country away.  Half a country away is not so far anymore.  I;d say that's an advancement of society right there.

Yeah, none of it is necessary, but I can tell you, after only having it for about a year, I don't really know how I would live without it.  
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Male 942
waldo863 I'm the opposite.  I had it for years and gave it up.  Phones work for communication just fine for me.  I've been much happier since I got rid of the smartphone.  I know it depends on how it's being used and that some people use it practically.  My whole point is that I see more and more people all the time not doing so.  They stumble through stores and other public places with their phones in front of their faces, not paying a damn bit of attention to their surroundings.  This creates inconvenience for others.  More and more people--not just teens, but adults as well--just have to be checking their texts or facebook while driving.  This creates a danger to other people.  Laws against this are not helping, not that I can see.  Society is evolving as a result, and from everything I see, the few conveniences it creates do not outweigh the negatives.
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Male 942
It's not just teens.  Society as a whole is being damaged.  If I had the option I would destroy all smart phone technology in existence.
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Male 602
cjeffblanchr well then, you'd be a fucking idiot. Smartphones are a tool, properly used, they are one of the most powerful devices you can own. You k ow what kids needed? Parents. Parents who showed them how to use things, parents who told them they'd had enough, parents who made them understand you can use something too much. Too bad parents these days are too busy watching TV and using their phones to give a fuck. All trends in the behaviors of children are the responsibility of parents. Period. They are the responsible party, and they should've known better than to let their kid think it's ok to use a phone 10 hours a day.
Someone deleted their comment before I could agree, but they're right. Handwringing has accompanied every generation, and if knowing technology is dangerous in this way is something parents are just figuring out, how are the fucking kids supposed to figure it out?
Right.
What I hear is lazy parents making excuses for their shitty kids.
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Male 942
thething911 Sounds like you have your smartphone stuck up your butt.

I don't use a smartphone and I'm perfectly fine.  They are unnecessary and if someone thinks they "need" it, then they are the idiot.  I don't disagree that parents should control their kids and say no.  But kids with cell phones are far from the only problem.  Adults are often far worse. My argument is not that a smartphone isn't a powerful, even useful, device.  It's that we don't need them.  Any of us.  Sure if used properly they're okay, but people don't use them like that.  They promote anti-social behavior, dumb us down, and do nothing to promote a healthy society.

I love it when people do as you did--make a point and end it with "period" as if that somehow finalizes your opinion as if it's some kind of natural fact.  If you think that there are no factors that influence children other than the parents they you're not living in reality.  Yes, parents don't have to buy their kids phones--and I don't think they should--but the point is that society is changing to where having smart phones is an expectation at schools, in business, and in too many aspects of society.  The source of this may be, in part, because parents didn't say no, but that doesn't change the fact that all of the negative effects that smart phones are having on society are becoming greater every year.

So yeah, I'd destroy them all in a heartbeat.
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Male 602
cjeffblanchr You're putting words together and mistaking that for meaning. What a shame I wasted a few seconds of my time.
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Male 942
thething911 Oh ouch, you've really hurt me.  You started wasting your time as soon as you started your reply by calling someone an "idiot" just because you disagree with them.

Actually, you've pretty much proved my point.  People who place such importance on these silly devices have lost all social skills.  All you can do is sit around and insult those who disagree.  Go check your twitter or sext with someone, nomophobe.
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Male 1,838
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Male 3,758
I have thought about this at points in my son's life.  Looking at it from my perspective, I can't imagine having this technology, especially in high school.  Sexting, online bullying, texting and driving...dealing with all of these things in addition to the normal burdens of being a teen definitely makes his generation unique.  And he is on the higher end of that gen, being in college now.  Luckily he got through it unscathed.  While I gave him advice and he actually listened to it, I can see even the most diligent parent losing out here.
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Male 942
kalron27 I think it's going to be harder and harder as the years go on for kids to go "unscathed" by this technology.  We're basically one step away from having computers integrated into our minds.
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Female 4,644
more a parenting problem than the inanimate object imho
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Male 8,171
melcervini Probably a little more complicated than that...
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Female 4,644
normalfreak2 How? Don't let them have one until they can show they can be responsible with it.  *I'm* the mom.
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Male 3,794
melcervini yeah and you are one person. its a big world out there
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Male 942
melcervini Not that you're wrong about that, but it is more complicated.  Smartphones at not just a fad anymore.  It's a part of how kids, and adults, communicate--and function.  These devices are being integrated into all aspects of the modern world.   They are changing our society in a really bad way, IMHO.  I have nephews in high school who are basically REQUIRED to have them for school purposes.  Companies that just a few years ago didn't want their employees carrying around their cell phones now encourage or require their use for certain aspects of their jobs.
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Female 4,644
cjeffblanchr its not that black and white, you're correct, but its how SOME communicate not all and again that's parenting.  As far as schools go, they'll use them until they abuse the privilege then they WONT use them.   If you work for a company, you're an adult and if you STILL can't use your device properly, then stick to Mickey-D's.  If the parent teaches the child responsibility, instead of "here, go play", this co-dependence would be a rarity.
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Male 942
melcervini I don't disagree, believe me.  I hate the damn things and no matter how much my dog begs for an iphone, he's not getting one.  But my point was that society is changing and it's moving beyond simple parenting and just saying no.  I think it's just going to get worse in the future.  Society is evolving.  How many people could still even read a street map or have a real sense of direction when maneuvering the roads?  They just turn on GPS.  I hate all of this, because people are becoming really stupid because of it, but I don't think it can be stopped by parents saying no anymore. 
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Female 4,644
cjeffblanchr good points, and I can't deny the changes either and you're right on the fundamentals.  My kids could read a roadmap early on because we traveled a lot.  "find us" was a favorite game. Agreed on the future.  Phenomenal cosmic information at their fingertips, itty bitty social skills, which will/is bringing their worlds to end(s).  If you teach personal responsibility, most of the rest will fall into place no matter what tools are being used. 
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Male 8,171
cjeffblanchr I wouldn't say people are getting stupid.  I think the way we look at the world and experience life is evolving.  Technology allows us to pursue other interests.  That's not bad.  The problem is we aren't teaching the youth  how to utilize and set realistic expectations.  
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Male 942
normalfreak2 Well, by "stupid" I mean that people are not having to learn or remember things because they can just pull it up on their phones.  They can't find places without the use of GPS, can't remember phone numbers because they don't have to anymore.  The potential to evolve into a more intelligent society is there, but I don't see it happening.
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Male 4,362
melcervini Agreed. I have friends with young kids that are allowed devices but they have "no electronics" periods throughout the week and stay engaged with their kids on why it is important to use them properly. 
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