American Consequences - January 2018

By American Consequences Editorial Staff

Millennials and their younger siblings, the so-called “Gen Z” or “iGen,” are the first generational cohorts to be fully assimilated into the Internet... Millennials were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s and iGen came directly thereafter. These generations now range in age from toddlers to the 35-year-olds who are beginning to remake business and the economy in their own image.

How do Millennials and iGen differ from their elders? Consider these dates: 1985 first .com domain name registered 1993 AOL launched its AOL Mail e-mail service 2004 Facebook is founded 2007 Apple’s iPhone is introduced Even the oldest Millennials don’t remember much from before there was an Internet. They weren’t yet teenagers when e-mail came into widespread use. They were in high school when social media began to be pervasive. They’ve had smartphones nearly their entire adult lives. The Internet defines the new generations. They don’t hang out in real places, they hang out in cyber spaces. They don’t describe their physical experiences, they “share” them via Instagram and Snapchat. They don’t have late-night bull sessions in dorms and bars, they tweet and go to semi-anonymous forums like Reddit. They don’t date, they “hookup” on Tinder. They don’t even phone each other, they text. What is all this connectedness with no real in-personal interaction doing to their heads?

Their relationships? Are young people today “special snowflakes” who need to get over it... Or is there something more insidious going on? And what does it mean for America? Here’s a few things we’re reading to try and answer those questions... YOUR SMARTPHONE IS MAKING YOU STUPID, ANTISOCIAL AND UNHEALTHY. SO WHY CAN’T YOU PUT IT DOWN?! The Globe and Mail Smartphones are causing real damage to our minds and relationships, measurable in seconds shaved off the average attention span, reduced brain power, declines in work-life balance and hours less of family time. They have impaired our ability to remember. They make it more difficult to daydream and think creatively. They make us more vulnerable to anxiety. They make parents ignore their children. And they are addictive, if not in the clinical sense, then for all intents and purposes.


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