Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so.Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states.
We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with her friends. More often, Athena and her friends spend time together on their phones, unchaperoned.
Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, they talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear.
The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.
What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior?
Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.
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.The aim of generational study, however, is not to succumb to nostalgia for the way things used to be; it’s to understand how they are now.Some generational changes are positive, some are negative, and many are both.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.The On Demand version of Shalom TV expanded to more than 20 video distributors available to more than 40 million homes throughout North America.