In the article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" author Jean Twenge
discusses the impacts of modern digital technologies on current generations. The author reveals
different trends associated with the increased use of technological devices among the young
generation. The author points out that technological devices are associated with high occurrences
of depression and suicidal thoughts, limited emphasis on independence, reduced face-to-face
interactions, and declining sexual activity among youths.
Across the reading, the author compares the current generations with the previous two
generations. Twenge posits the concept of paradigm shift marked with significant cultural and
ideological drifts over the past few decades. The author notes that face-to-face interaction was
primal and more prevalent during her childhood than now (Twenge 400). For instance, Twenge
recalls how she spent several hours almost every day hanging out with her friends. On the
contrary, society seems to have taken a drift and currently revolves entirely around devices,
massively sabotaging face-to-face interaction.
According to Twenge, the lack of physical interactions, compounded by the increased
virtual engagements, has led to increased cases of depression among teens. This trend illustrates
a shift in society because it reflects a massive ideological migration from interpersonal
interaction to virtual communication.
In addition, the author highlights the intergenerational changes that represent the
migration from interpersonal to virtual interactions in society. Since she has witnessed the
significant change, Twenge creates a new generation that corresponds to the changes, one she
identifies as the "iGen." (Twenge 400) This generation depicts a society influenced mainly by the
emergence and proliferation of intelligent devices, which does not correlate with when such
devices did not exist.
From a general perspective, one can argue that Twenge's awareness of the escalating rise
of digital technologies applied in the current generation itself is a paradigm shift because only a
few people in past generations would think of the negative implications of intelligent devices.
Technological devices are innovative inventions that have significantly enhanced human
experience, which obscures the flip side. In this article, Twenge marks the massive cultural
transformation that has caused people to rethink online time. This article serves as a significant
evaluation of the adverse outcomes of smart devices, focusing on their overall outcomes on the
Twenge, Jean M. "Have smartphones destroyed a generation." The Atlantic 9 (2017): 2017.