The good news is that the teen pregnancy rate is at a record low. The bad news is that it's probably because today's teens rarely go outside, let alone see their friends in person.
This is the sad conclusion that psychologist Jean M. Twenge came to while studying the so-called "iGen" generation. And if you thought Millennials were messed up, you should see the generation that's succeeded them.
Twenge's latest article in The Atlantic details her findings on the "iGen," an entire generation born after 1995 and reaching adolescence after the first Apple iPhone came out in 2007. These kids have never known life without smartphones or social media, and the results are pretty scary.
From Baby Boomers to GenXers, most generations could not wait to get away from their parents to hang out with their friends. Even Millennials rushed to get their driver's licenses, and most worked jobs in high school.
But not the iGen.
Between 2000 to 2015, the number of teens who hang out with their friends in person dropped by a stunning 40 percent. In 2015, only 56 percent of high school seniors had been on a date, compared to 85 percent of GenXers. The number of teens who have their driver's license has also plummeted -- many are now waiting until they are 18 years old.
Nowadays, teenagers are hanging out with their friends via the internet and apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but they rarely see each other in person. The result: teen loneliness and depression is on the rise. For the first time in recent history, teens are more likely to hurt themselves than each other. In 2011, the teen suicide rate exceeded the teen homicide rate for the first time in 24 years.
Suicide rates among all categories of teenagers is rising -- especially the suicide rate for teenage girls, which rose a shocking 50 percent between 2012 and 2015.
The kids are not alright. And it looks like too much technology is the reason why.
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