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Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter.
But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever.
The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.
Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation.I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology.Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum.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.