American Consequences - January 2018



media to games to payments. But over the past year or so, a number of prominent industry figures have voiced concerns about the downsides of the technology’s ubiquity. WHY ARE MORE AMERICAN TEENAGERS THAN EVER SUFFERING FROM SEVERE ANXIETY? New York Times Anxious kids certainly existed before Instagram, but many of the parents the New York Times spoke to worried that their kids’ digital habits – round-the-clock responding to texts, posting to social media, obsessively following the filtered exploits of peers – were partly to blame for their children’s struggles. To the Times ’ surprise, anxious teenagers tended to agree. At Mountain Valley, a reporter listened as a college student went on a philosophical rant about his generation’s relationship to social media. “I don’t think we realize how much it’s affecting our moods and personalities,” he said. “Social media is a tool, but it’s become this thing that we can’t live without but that’s making us crazy.” THE FIRST SOCIAL MEDIA SUICIDE The Guardian The suburban train hit her at 4:29 p.m., right on schedule. After the event, people remembered hearing her cry out, but that may just have been retrospective fancy. Her phone landed lens-down, and showed only

HAVE SMARTPHONES DESTROYED A GENERATION? The Atlantic Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones... 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. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives – and making them seriously unhappy. FACEBOOK ADMITS THAT SOCIAL MEDIA MAY BE BAD FOR YOU The Telegraph Scrolling through Facebook can leave people feeling worse afterward, the social network has admitted... Students randomly assigned to read Facebook for 10 minutes were in a worse mood at the end of the day than those who talked to friends or posted on the website. SILICON VALLEY RECONSIDERS THE IPHONE ERA IT CREATED Wall Street Journal The smartphone has fueled much of Silicon Valley’s soaring profits over the past decade, enriching companies in sectors from social


January 2018

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