Analysis of Jean Twenge's Article ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation’ and Its Main Points

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Have you ever thought about what your smartphone has done to you? Smartphones are addictive, and a popular technology commonly used by most of the population. In the article ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation’, Jean Twenge discusses how smartphones are causing troubling issues among the new generation. Twenge, in fact, gives insight to the readers of her article by giving many examples of the issues that come along with the smartphone. Twenge's main point of her article is to get her audience to understand the harmfulness of this new electronic device. This article over her many side effects of the smartphone and the change in this generation is mostly accurate.


Twenge claims that “the more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression”. In 2011, for the first time in 24 years, Twenge's article gives the fact that the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate. Smartphones are causing teens unhappiness; all screen activities are linked to less happiness. Not everything on technology is a happy item, a lot of it shows troubles and upsetting pictures. Not only does social media show negativity, but cyberbullying is also a growing problem in 2019. Not a true explanation of why others find it comforting to make mean and harmful comments. Also in her article, she states: “One study asked college students with a Facebook page to complete short surveys on their phone over the course of two weeks. They'd get a text message with a link five times a day, and report on their mood and how much they'd use Facebook. The more they had used Facebook, the unhappier they felt, but feeling unhappy did not subsequently lead to more Facebook use”. Facebook was causing unhappiness. Facebook sends multiple notifications a day that many people don't care to see. It was irrelevant notifications that were eventually just annoying others and making it frustrating, which will cause unhappiness. If teens got out of the house, even doing homework at a library or after school activities, teens cut the depression rate down significantly. They won't be paying attention to their smartphones, they most likely won't even think about it because they are keeping their minds busy with other interests. Smartphones have become an addiction; teens can't seem to put them down. Maybe it's a getaway from the outside world.

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Twenge states in her article that “smartphones are cutting into teens’ sleep”. Many teens now sleep less than seven hours a night, when psychologists state teens should be getting about nine hours of sleep. Twenge states in her article that “fifty-seven percent more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991”. Not only that, smartphones have a very strong ability to disrupt sleep. Usually, phones stay within arm's reach next to a teen's bed. How many notifications do you think pops up on a phone in the middle of the night? Your phone vibrates or lights up and more times than less, teens will wake up to the notifications, disrupting their sleep. The article states that “teens who read books and magazines more often than the average are less likely to be sleep-deprived”. But the charm of shrewd phones is frequently as well much to stand up to. Not only can no sleep lead to sleep deprivation, but it can also lead to depression, or as Twenge puts it, “phones could be causing depression which leads to lack of sleep”. Sleep deprivation begins to keep increasing among teens. Not as it were it rest hardship substandard, but it is likely connected to heap issues. Counting compromised considering and thinking, helplessness to sickness, weight pick up, and tall blood weight communicated within the article. Maybe teens just get sidetracked on their smartphones they lose track of time, and the next thing you know it’s 2 a.m. and you've lost track of time watching funny cat videos on YouTube.


Twenge says that “putting off responsibilities of adulthood is not an iGen innovation, Gen Xers were the first, but iGen brought back the tradition”. In the article, Twenge talks about the employment rate for teens, the ability to get a job is easy. But teens are starting to just rely on their parents to supply everything for them, and the parents agree. Twenge says in her article that “childhood stretches well into adulthood”. Not being mature enough to get a job is not this generation's tradition. The generation of the 1990s was the first to put off the job responsibility of teens. Teens are putting off adulthood and it's making teens immature. They are starting late. Teens are now acting younger than they are. For example, an 18-year-old acts like a 15-year-old, and a 15-year-old acts like a 13-year-old. But teens are just doing this by themselves. Teen influences and changes in the economy take a huge role in how teens act. Parents are stating that teens should not go out and get a job and just rely on them so they can stay home and study. But are they studying? Teens stay up in their rooms and have no social contact with their families, just under the same roof. But what could they be doing in their room? Are they studying or on their addictive smartphones? Since everything is given to teens nowadays, they believe they don't need a job nor need to take on responsibilities such as an adult.

Concluding Thoughts

Overall, Twenge's thoughts and facts about smartphones affecting our generation are very well supported by the claims she stated. I feel like she had very detailed explanations for all her claims, but she neglected to discuss the actual good sides of the smartphone. Smartphones are just used incorrectly. Most teens in this generation use smartphones to their advantage in social media. Teens try to fit in and run off of influence by others. When smartphones have the nice perk of actually being useful. A lot of civilians use phones for work, and navigation, they bring information to our developing world, keep track of your near doctor's appointments, music, etc. Yes, I do believe that smartphones are negatively impacting the growing teens who are soon to be in adulthood. Twenge's claims are very true, smartphones have very depressing side effects from their misuse. Not only do I believe the false use of them will only get worse, but smartphone addiction will begin to increase significantly. If parents limited their teens' time on technology, attempted to get them pursued in sports, get into the church, etc., teens would spend less time worrying about what is on their phones and more worried about what's happening in the world.


  1. Twenge, Jean M. “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?”. The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Mar. 2018,
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Analysis of Jean Twenge’s Article ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation’ and Its Main Points. (2024, January 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“Analysis of Jean Twenge’s Article ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation’ and Its Main Points.” Edubirdie, 04 Jan. 2024,
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