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iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

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A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me. With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me. With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today’s rising generation of teens and young adults. Born in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s and later, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality. iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to. As this new group of young people grows into adulthood, we all need to understand them: Friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation—and the world.


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A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me. With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me. With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today’s rising generation of teens and young adults. Born in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s and later, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality. iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to. As this new group of young people grows into adulthood, we all need to understand them: Friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation—and the world.

30 review for iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    This is the non-fiction version of the movie Eighth Grade. WHAT MUST I DO TO GET YOUNG PEOPLE OFF OF THEIR PHONES IMMEDIATELY??

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gary Moreau

    If you are reading this review, according to the cornucopia of research offered in this book, you are unlikely to be an iGen’er. “By 2015, one out of three high school seniors admitted they had not read any books for pleasure in the past year, three times as many as in 1976.” While Professor Twenge cautions us not to evaluate some of her findings as good or bad, this, for me, is surely a bit sad. As a sexagenarian father of two daughters, aged 14 and 16, I desperately needed and wanted to read t If you are reading this review, according to the cornucopia of research offered in this book, you are unlikely to be an iGen’er. “By 2015, one out of three high school seniors admitted they had not read any books for pleasure in the past year, three times as many as in 1976.” While Professor Twenge cautions us not to evaluate some of her findings as good or bad, this, for me, is surely a bit sad. As a sexagenarian father of two daughters, aged 14 and 16, I desperately needed and wanted to read this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. It is well written and provides a wealth of information and insight. Much of it, I found, reinforced my own observations of my daughters. In some cases, that allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. At the very least, their habits that are the most different from my own at their age are not unique to them. Twenge is careful up front to articulate the limitations of this type of statistical analysis. “Because the survey samples are nationally representative, they represent American young people as whole, not just an isolated group.” That larger group, the iGen’ers, are defined as those born from 1995 to 2012, a group of 74 million Americans that currently account for 24% of the population. One of the things I normally find limiting in this kind of big data statistical analysis is that it chronicles attributes. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, a behavior is worth ten thousand pictures, and Professor Twenge clearly appreciates that. She doesn’t just present the data, she probes it. A few random thoughts occurred to me as I read it. I came of age at the height of the Vietnam War. When I was required to register with Selective Service, the draft was still in place and college deferments, for good reason, had been eliminated. I vividly recall standing in my high school cafeteria at the age of 17 listening to the statewide announcement of our lottery draft numbers. The numbers were drawn by birth date and the official reading the numbers started the broadcast noting that the first 123 numbers drawn were almost certain to be drafted, the second 123 numbers may or may not be depending on need, and the last 119 could rest easier. My birthday was drawn 124th. The birthday of my friend, who happened to be standing near to me, was drawn 3rd. I offer that only to suggest that there are certain historical events that help to define individuals, if not a generation. The risk of being sent to fight in the jungle of Southeast Asia was one for me. That’s not to say that iGen’ers have not endured such historic events. It’s just to remind us that they exist. The other observation that I had, which isn’t directly explored in the book, is the change not just in how we live, but where we live. I walked to school on my own starting in the fourth grade, road my bicycle everywhere, and spent nearly all of my waking hours with friends—with no adult supervision. People didn’t live in sub-divisions so much in those days. We lived in economically diverse neighborhoods. Urban sprawl and the socio-economic homogeneity of the suburban subdivision have both empowered and demanded certain changes in how our children live. My final observation has to do with the individualistic versus collective social norm. Professor Twenge writes, “…cultural individualism is connected to slower developmental speeds across both countries and time. Around the world, young adults grow up more slowly in individualistic countries than collectivist ones.” My family lived in China for nine years. For my daughters, it was during the period from age 5 until age 14, on average. China has a collective culture in the extreme and it was my observation that the children matured very slowly, at least compared to my personal experience as a Boomer. (I found out from this book that this is a global development.) Because of the collectivist culture, however, my wife and I were very lenient with the independence we allowed out daughters. At a restaurant, for example, we never hesitated to let the children go off and play on their own, out of our sight. (A children’s play area is offered at virtually every restaurant.) Violent crime and attacks on children are rare in China, but more importantly, we knew that everyone else at the restaurant, including the staff, would keep a close eye on the safety of the children. It’s just part of the collectivist mentality. They all felt responsible. My point being that I’m not sure the individualistic versus collectivist dimension isn’t a bit counter-intuitive when you get to the social extremes. The study does reinforce the far-reaching impact of technology. It comes with a lot of baggage. Social media is not social at all. It’s entertainment. And, for the most part, it’s not authentic. Selfies, for example, are always staged. Reminded me of The Jetsons, when they would always hold a mask of perfection in front of their face when talking on the video phone. In many ways, I consider this book to be a launching pad rather than a conclusion. Professor Twenge has done a great job of starting the conversation. But it needs to continue. What is it about technology that has cast our children in this way? Why do they think and behave the way they do? (Twenge has started that conversation in many areas.) And what, as parents and members of the larger community, can we do to reinforce the good things (e.g., our children are safer) and attack the negatives (e.g., suicide rates are up). Some of the developments are going to be a little tricky. Twenge points out, for example, that iGen’ers are overwhelmingly inclusive. In terms of the racism that is haunting our society today, that might suggest we just need to wait and the problem will be resolved. I don’t think so, and, to her credit, Twenge apparently agrees. A commitment to inclusion is not enough. We must do more. I also think it will take the village to address the iGen’ers overwhelming anxiety about their financial future. That is truly a problem for the business community and the government to solve. The implied social contract that existed between employer and employee when I started my career disappeared starting in the 80s. It isn’t coming back but we have to build some form of alternative. Technology and social evolution have taken away the safety net of self-sufficiency (i.e. the Thoreau model) and have left a void in its place. It’s a void that needs to be filled; or bridged, perhaps. I, therefore, go beyond the parents of iGen’ers and educators in recommending this book. We all need to read it because we all have a role to play, both for our children, our selves, and the future of our society.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    Sensationalist, cherry-picked, start-with-the-conclusion-you-want-and-work-back-from-there crap. Whatever university gave this person a PhD (as they proudly display on the book cover) has some serious explaining to do. The author's research methods are spurious and would get her laughed out of any serious academic conference. As with her last book about Millennials, this author says that the current generation of young people is simply the worst because they value individualism more than conform Sensationalist, cherry-picked, start-with-the-conclusion-you-want-and-work-back-from-there crap. Whatever university gave this person a PhD (as they proudly display on the book cover) has some serious explaining to do. The author's research methods are spurious and would get her laughed out of any serious academic conference. As with her last book about Millennials, this author says that the current generation of young people is simply the worst because they value individualism more than conformity. I love how she gives lip service to the benefits that the rise of individualized dignity has had on America while claiming that it's ultimately a bad thing. In a single sentence she dismisses individualism by saying "While individualism did lead to increases in equality among women and minorities, it has also lead to a decay of social cohesion." Yeah, because everyone conforming to a set of societal norms grounded in the values of rich white guys is so much better than women getting equal pay and black people getting to say that being picked on by the cops is bad. It's almost as if people like the author don't want marginalized groups (including young white people economically disadvantaged by the disastrous financial policies of the Baby Boomers) to complain about how much bullshit they have to deal with. If young folks are unhappy (and of course they are), it's their fault. She comes in with an axe to grind: the past was better, and now I'm gonna prove it to you. With science! If her conclusions had been reached via legitimate methods, I would seriously consider what she had to say, but this book is pure, naked propaganda, dressed up in manipulated statistics and research studies intentionally skewed to produce a desired result. Teenagers are the worst because they use cellphones and social media. Guess what? Older people use social media just as much if not more than teenagers, and almost everyone, regardless of age, race, gender etc has a smartphone. If John McCain can get in trouble for playing online poker during a senate hearing, smartphone use not just a teenager problem. A life lived online will leave kids unprepared for the "real world." That's assuming the "real world" will stay as it is and that the values of older generations will continue into the future. Teenagers are drinking less and having less sex and that's...a bad thing? Because it shows they're not in a hurry to perform the most superficial and indulgent of adult activities? They're closer to their parents and better behaved and that's...also a bad thing? What pisses me off most is that when she does research she constructs the experiment to create a certain outcome, and even then her results are not very satisfying. It comes across less as her having compelling evidence and more that she played the game on the easiest setting and is now proudly boasting about how 133t she is. For example, she tries to prove that the current generation of teenagers spend less time with their friends that previous ones, because the number of teens who answered "yes" to the question "do you hang out with your friends every day?" has dropped slightly in the last ten years. What about teens who hang out with their friends ALMOST every day? Or "a few days a week" or "just on the weekends." The way she phrased the question was leading for the subject and misleading for the reader. Another thing she tries to prove is that current teenagers are depressed because teenage suicide rates are higher now than they were ten years ago...but lower than they were twenty years ago. Was there some epidemic of smartphone use in the 1990's I wasn't aware of? Also, social media make you depressed because teens who report being depressed also report using social media more. Right, because depressed people never go online to make themselves feel better. She actually acknowledges this but dismisses it by saying "Yeah, but the sharp rise in social media correlates to the sharp rise in teen depression." I guess she must have been absent when they covered this during her freshman argumentation class so allow me to say it now: CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION! You can say anything causes anything if you simply say "but they happened at the same time!" They used to think ice cream caused polio because polio rates among kids increased during the summer, when kids ate lots of ice cream. I could go on and on and on. I just hope I've made the case clear that the author of this book did not conduct her research in good faith. She did not start out with a question driven by curiosity, she started with an accusation. I like books that try to explain phenomena. They can answer questions like "Why did Hitler lose WWII?" or "What effect is America's food infrastructure having on its citizens?" They can even answer a question like "How are today's teenagers different from the teenagers of previous generations?" I wanted to know that. That's why I bought this book. This book did not answer that question. It didn't even try to. If you're someone who hates the kids these days with their Snapchats and duck-face selfies, go ahead and have your biases confirmed. If you're the parent of a difficult teenager and rather than talk and listen to them and put in the work to build an effective and loving relationship, you'd rather just blame everything on their smartphone, have at it. If you care at all about the truth stay far, far away from this piece of doctrinal filth and the lying hack who wrote it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I would have and did agree with the thesis of the book (that smart phones are really bad for this generation) before I read the book. But now, I want to push back because she doesn't support the thesis and she misuses her data. One example: Igen-ers don't use facebook. Then, her one study for why social media makes them depressed has only to do with facebook use. that's just one small example. Then, she criticizes them for their obsession with safety (man was Haidt's coddling of the american min I would have and did agree with the thesis of the book (that smart phones are really bad for this generation) before I read the book. But now, I want to push back because she doesn't support the thesis and she misuses her data. One example: Igen-ers don't use facebook. Then, her one study for why social media makes them depressed has only to do with facebook use. that's just one small example. Then, she criticizes them for their obsession with safety (man was Haidt's coddling of the american mind influential for these sloppy social scientists), but does not at all dig in to why that might be. She just says they are obsessed over safety. Let me take a guess at why that might be: Could it be that this generation was born right after 9/11 and columbine and has had to watch endless war, school shootings, and rising inequality? But maybe let's look at their parents. Their parents didn't let them go out, pushed them to perform at school, and drugged them up when they started acting out? And now that they apparently feel unsafe in the world and don't get drunk at parties and have unprotected sex, we make fun of them and call them snowflakes? This is not serious science and it's crappy social commentary. You can't just describe a whole generation in sweeping and derogatory descriptions and display zero curiosity about how it is that they got there. My students are igen and millenials and sure sometimes they annoy me because they're kids and they do immature kid-like things. And smart phones are definitely not good, but I hate when older generations talk about how the kids are a mess and somehow worse than we were. They are not. We were bad too. And this story is super old and tired.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindy

    Just to get this out of the way first: I hate the title and early in the book Twenge misapplies life history theory in a way that made me grind my teeth. The argument, as Twenge lays it out in the introduction, is provocative and one that interests me: the widespread adoption of smartphones has fundamentally altered American adolescence. The problem is that Twenge does not stick to demonstrating this point. She presents a compelling case in discussing the interaction between technology and teenag Just to get this out of the way first: I hate the title and early in the book Twenge misapplies life history theory in a way that made me grind my teeth. The argument, as Twenge lays it out in the introduction, is provocative and one that interests me: the widespread adoption of smartphones has fundamentally altered American adolescence. The problem is that Twenge does not stick to demonstrating this point. She presents a compelling case in discussing the interaction between technology and teenage mental health in Chapter 4, and briefly mentions how the internet leads to polarization and bubble effects with regard to politics at the end of Chapter 10, but I don't think she mentions the internet or smartphones once in the chapter about religion and so it's unclear how this information relates back to the rest of her arguments. In my opinion the religion statistics would have best been integrated into Chapter 10's discussion of libertarianism. Speaking of that, it surprises me that Twenge didn't connect the increased importance of the internet in daily life to the longstanding libertarian ethos of Silicon Valley. I was hoping for something that dives deeper than a typical Newsweek article, and the data Twenge presents offers opportunities for more complex analysis, but instead she opts for the simplistic and fails to look at the ways the internet has changed American life overall and then figure out how teenagers fit into it. Take, for example, the concluding sentence of Chapter 4: "In other words, there is a simple, free way to improve mental health: put down the phone, and do something else" (p. 118). Okay... what else? Twenge constantly invokes mall rat nostalgia so I guess that's one place she might advocate teens meet up with their friends, but that often isn't an option as malls continue to shut down thanks to the popularity of online shopping amongst all demographics. Public space on the whole is in decline, and there really isn't anything teenagers alone can do about it. The internet is, in some analyses, one of the few public spaces readily accessible. Likewise, I'm not sure Twenge understands that there are genuinely fewer opportunities for teen employment than in the past-- I was a lifeguard in high school so that job's still there, but my peers who worked at the mall would now be out of luck, and supermarkets and drug stores employ fewer individuals as they switch over to automated checkouts. I'm also guessing Twenge wouldn't count a teen who makes extra cash by selling her artwork on Redbubble or another informal internet based gig to be working. This is how labor goes for a lot of people at the moment, whether they were born after 1995 or not. I would recommend reading iGen in tandem with It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, which delves into the online social lives of late millennials and forecasts many of the trends outlined in the former.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Hughes

    I was introduced to Jean Twenge's iGen thesis in a recent article in The Atlantic and actually thought I'd ask my kids their thoughts on it, when I found out it was condensed from a new book that friends chose for our couples' bookclub. I'm glad I had the chance to read Ms. Twenge's expanded ideas. As the mother of kids ages 16-22, and as one who's worked in schools and church with kids in the iGen age range, I'm in absolute agreement with Jean Twenge's findings and can anecdotally confirm what I was introduced to Jean Twenge's iGen thesis in a recent article in The Atlantic and actually thought I'd ask my kids their thoughts on it, when I found out it was condensed from a new book that friends chose for our couples' bookclub. I'm glad I had the chance to read Ms. Twenge's expanded ideas. As the mother of kids ages 16-22, and as one who's worked in schools and church with kids in the iGen age range, I'm in absolute agreement with Jean Twenge's findings and can anecdotally confirm what she's seeing as a data scientist. If you want a summary of her findings, I highly recommend the article. If you have a bit more time, get the book and skim it, focusing on the many graphs that illustrate her points really well. If you have time to dig in and study, the book is truly worth reading. (But I must be honest: it's so comprehensive that I lost steam as I approached the end). I think my highest compliment is that I felt like Ms. Twenge approached the topic without bias but was truly examining the data of teens over the decades and then coming to conclusions based on findings instead of using statistics to support her existing beliefs. Her research is exhaustive and impressive, and along with the statistics, she uses individual stories/interviews to illustrate trends. Ms. Twenge also has a great resource for personal observation in her psychology class students where she teaches at SDSU. As I've learned about Millennials previously, I kept feeling like that didn't quite fit what I saw in my oldest son and his peers, but the iGen theory fits them and my younger kids to a T. It pulls together what I've been noticing for some years--the effects of technology and specifically smartphones on our children, the lack of interest in young adults and teens in growing up ("adulting"), the way that kids seem delayed compared to past generations in developmental mileposts, the trending away from religion and even personal spirituality, and more. I'm especially concerned with the mental health crisis Ms. Twenge identifies as brewing generation-wide in iGen, and I'm not sure what I can do about it except just continue to teach my own family to be aware of risks and monitor themselves--and ask for help. This book is a great resource for parents, teachers, and anyone who wants to better understand the upcoming generation. What makes iGen unique isn't bad ("kids these days!") or good ("the greatest generation")--it just IS. Understanding what makes this generation tick is key to our combined best future.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

    As a parent of 6 children (all of whom fall into the iGen category), this book was fascinating as well as discouraging. Many of the "trends" that are associated with iGen, I see in my own children; however, not all of them are negative. I am excited to share my thoughts on this in an upcoming group discussion. After reading 11 chapters of data, trends, and insights, followed up by 1 chapter of "what to do nows", I would appreciate another book on ways to embrace the positives in iGen and how to As a parent of 6 children (all of whom fall into the iGen category), this book was fascinating as well as discouraging. Many of the "trends" that are associated with iGen, I see in my own children; however, not all of them are negative. I am excited to share my thoughts on this in an upcoming group discussion. After reading 11 chapters of data, trends, and insights, followed up by 1 chapter of "what to do nows", I would appreciate another book on ways to embrace the positives in iGen and how to help the "not so great" aspects of this generation of people.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I was a little leery about reading this book. I worried it might be just some rant about how "kids these days" are awful in every way, and why "my" generation is so superior. What I hoped to find was a book that would offer insight into the "internet generation" (iGen), a book that would let me understand these young people better, see where they are coming from. After all, the world they're growing up in is vastly different to the one I did (I'm a Gen X-er). I've never had children (well, unles I was a little leery about reading this book. I worried it might be just some rant about how "kids these days" are awful in every way, and why "my" generation is so superior. What I hoped to find was a book that would offer insight into the "internet generation" (iGen), a book that would let me understand these young people better, see where they are coming from. After all, the world they're growing up in is vastly different to the one I did (I'm a Gen X-er). I've never had children (well, unless you count my cat -- which I do!) and don't spend much time with children and teens. Still, I can see there are differences and I hoped to read a book that would explain some of these differences, show me a bit of their world. Thankfully, iGen is the latter. Jean M. Twenge discusses several topics and trends, such as political and religious views, tolerance towards others, time spent in front of a screen, and many others. She presents graphs and discusses surveys, along with interviews she personally had with a number of teens and young adults. She talks about their mental health, their strengths and weaknesses, and how growing up with a smart phone, always connected, has shaped them into who they are. Mostly Ms. Twenge remained neutral, which pleased me. There are some instances where it's hard to be neutral, when we learn for instance, that depression, anxiety, and suicide rates amongst young people are on the rise. This is most certainly a negative. However, for the most part, Ms. Twenge reminds us there are positives as well as negatives in this young generation and doesn't usually come across as judgmental (there were a couple of times I sensed she felt negatively about things, but she did strive to remain neutral and present things fairly and without a judgmental attitude). I feel I now have a bit better understanding of iGen-ers, and so I give the book 4 stars. There could have been a lot more said though. I'd especially have been interested in seeing the topics discussed cross-culturally, and feel the book is lacking because it discusses only American youth. At least for these young people though, I have better understanding and appreciation for their world, their world views, and their experiences. Certainly they have many strengths, not just weaknesses. Every generation has its positives and its negatives, and iGen is no different. I hope they will be able to fix some of the problems my and other generations have created and look forward to seeing what all they will accomplish once they are able to set out into the world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Lehr

    Twenge's "research" is full of sweeping assumptions, cherry-picked data, and poor correlations that paint an exaggerated picture of this upcoming generation. It is disheartening to hear a voice who is so antagonistic toward this generation of students and who ignores the very real struggles of minority populations. Twenge's "research" is full of sweeping assumptions, cherry-picked data, and poor correlations that paint an exaggerated picture of this upcoming generation. It is disheartening to hear a voice who is so antagonistic toward this generation of students and who ignores the very real struggles of minority populations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Lawson

    Igen Is Crying Out For Help, And We Need To Listen In IGEN, Professor Jean M. Twenge summarizes the research on the next generation. There are lots of alarming findings. First off, the iGen teens do many things less often this includes going out with friends, working, reading—even going to parties. Comparison to prior generations is alarming. For example, “the number of 8th graders who work for pay has been cut in half.” It’s not just a matter of teens making a simple substitution of one media fo Igen Is Crying Out For Help, And We Need To Listen In IGEN, Professor Jean M. Twenge summarizes the research on the next generation. There are lots of alarming findings. First off, the iGen teens do many things less often this includes going out with friends, working, reading—even going to parties. Comparison to prior generations is alarming. For example, “the number of 8th graders who work for pay has been cut in half.” It’s not just a matter of teens making a simple substitution of one media for another—there’s a lot more to it. The doctor explains, “The entire developmental trajectory, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, has slowed.” Teens are working less, spending less time on homework, going out less, and drinking less--so what are they doing? The answer is not hard to find—it’s screen time: “Teens are hanging out with their friends less, but they are not replacing that time with homework, extracurricular, paid work, or housework; they are replacing it with screen time.” The actual time spent on smartphones is startling: “iGen high school seniors spent an average of 2 ¼ hours a day texting on their cell phones, about 2 hours a day on the Internet, 1 ½ hours a day on electronic gaming, and about a half hour on video chat in the most recent survey. That totals to six hours a day with new media.” This diversion of time has come with a steep price. For example, SAT scores are sliding, and compare poorly to their millennial predecessors: “SAT scores have slid since the mid-2000s, especially in writing (a 13-point decline since 2006) and critical reading.” The last chapter has some practical suggestions. Overall, the key to phones is moderation— for both teens and adults. Even experts in technology are “cautious about their kids using it too much.” Some ideas: * Find a place of moderation for how much that phone is in our hands, * Don’t sleep within ten feet of your phone. (The author notes that many teens sleep next to their phone, and are interrupted by texts.) * Put down the smartphone when studying or working. The author makes one point in particular that I thought was especially astute: People cannot simultaneously do serious mental work and use a smartphone. Rather, one must concentrate on one thing at a time: “The human brain cannot multitask: we can focus our attention on only one cognitive task at a time.” The iGen generation has difficulty concentrating for more than a very short time. With all the gloomy statistics, the author nevertheless offers some hope—but it will require a marked change in behavior: “If they can shake themselves free of the constant clutch of their phones and shrug off the heavy cloak of their fear, they can still fly. And the rest of us will be there, cheering them on.” So all in all, I found iGen to be a well-researched, well written book. Moreover, it is an important book. The author writes clearly, and the book is easy to read. I confess I was ignorant of much of this information. I am especially concerned about the mental health problems documented. Perhaps the scariest part of the entire book concerns mental health: “iGen is on the verge of the most severe mental health crisis for young people in decades.” The professor cites numerous studies linking depression with extended use of social media. Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Boone Bolinder

    A haunting yet surprisingly hopeful look into the up and coming generation. Having worked closely with youth for the last 6 years I will say that this book helped me understand many of their opinions, tendencies, quirks, and fears. I would recommend it to all. I knocked off one star because there is a lot of overlap that could have been handled in more concise manner, I believe. But still great stuff. Key take aways are: 1. Fear is first and foremost in this generation. They don't date because i A haunting yet surprisingly hopeful look into the up and coming generation. Having worked closely with youth for the last 6 years I will say that this book helped me understand many of their opinions, tendencies, quirks, and fears. I would recommend it to all. I knocked off one star because there is a lot of overlap that could have been handled in more concise manner, I believe. But still great stuff. Key take aways are: 1. Fear is first and foremost in this generation. They don't date because its risky. They don't drive because its risky. But they still have the guts to put things on social media for all the world to see forever. Those looking to teach or persuade these people must be able to articulate the riskiness and benefits of their case. 2. Screen time is eerily correlated to depression. The more screen time a person has, especially at younger years, the more unhappy they feel. This is directly applicable for all. I notice it in myself, in my kids, and with those that I work with. 3. Focus is a key issue for this generation. If you want to be more valuable in the coming years you need to hone your focus and your ability to do deep things. It appears that it will become more rare in the coming years. 4. Avoid getting your kids a phone for as long as possible. I already believed this, but thanks for reinforcing it. 5. Inaction is a trademark. They are apathetic about anything that they don't see a clear benefit. This includes politics & religion. They have to be forced to make a stand, which they are not quick to do, and it relates back to fear. (I realize that this is a very general statement and is not universally applicable).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    3.5 Sociology was one of my favorite classes in college, and I continue to be fascinated by data and trends- cause and effect. I picked this book, because I wanted a perspective on how smartphones are affecting the generation younger than mine. The book is pretty comprehensive, covering various topics such as how "iGen" is growing up even slower than the "Millennials," how smartphones and the internet are affecting how teens and young adults function (for good and bad), difficulties with communi 3.5 Sociology was one of my favorite classes in college, and I continue to be fascinated by data and trends- cause and effect. I picked this book, because I wanted a perspective on how smartphones are affecting the generation younger than mine. The book is pretty comprehensive, covering various topics such as how "iGen" is growing up even slower than the "Millennials," how smartphones and the internet are affecting how teens and young adults function (for good and bad), difficulties with communicating in person, the increasing amount of "iGen" with mental health issues, trends in religion, politics, and family life, and more. Overall, it held my attention. There are a lot of graphs. I came away with a new perspective on both the challenges and the strengths of this particular generation, and I have a few books and articles that were cited that I would like to read. Note: the author kept her tone unbiased 95% of the time. Also, just a warning that some quotes from people she interviewed contain swear words.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ❤Marie Gentilcore

    I started this book because my children (son-13 and daughter-11) fall into the age range of iGen. I thought the book was interesting. I found myself shaking my head many times as I recognized something my children do. However, I don’t know that devices are what make this generation less likely to drink alcohol, have sex, attend un-chaperoned parties, or drive before they turn 18. I think parents these days (including myself) are more concerned with safety and that has to trickle down to the kids I started this book because my children (son-13 and daughter-11) fall into the age range of iGen. I thought the book was interesting. I found myself shaking my head many times as I recognized something my children do. However, I don’t know that devices are what make this generation less likely to drink alcohol, have sex, attend un-chaperoned parties, or drive before they turn 18. I think parents these days (including myself) are more concerned with safety and that has to trickle down to the kids.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alejandra

    Besides a couple of insights, this was basically someone telling me for over 300 why they dislike i-geners. Ridiculous, pretensious and slightly miss informing, as it was constantly rambling just to prove kids wrong.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David

    You've probably seen articles and heard stories about Millennials; for the last few many years talk of Millennials, the generation after Gen-X, has been all the rage. Except...Millennials are kind of old now. The best place to divide the generations is 1995, which makes the youngest Millennials 23. Following the Millennials is a generation some call Gen Z (since Millennials were Gen Y). A better title is iGen which reflects this generation's status as digital natives. Why 1995? Facebook opened to You've probably seen articles and heard stories about Millennials; for the last few many years talk of Millennials, the generation after Gen-X, has been all the rage. Except...Millennials are kind of old now. The best place to divide the generations is 1995, which makes the youngest Millennials 23. Following the Millennials is a generation some call Gen Z (since Millennials were Gen Y). A better title is iGen which reflects this generation's status as digital natives. Why 1995? Facebook opened to kids young as 13, so these kids could lie about their age when they were 11 or 12 and get Facebook. More than that, smartphones became ubiquitous in 2011, right when this group was in high school. Really, smartphones defines this generation. According to the research in this book, nearly everything about this generation relates back to smartphones. If not smartphones, then safety. This generation desires safety. They grow up slower. Perhaps since their parents have fewer children, their parents then work hard to ensure their safety since fewer children means less chances to pass on our genes. Plus, with the recession of 2008 happening during their teen years, these kids saw their parents experience financial stress. So they desire financial security. Then there's smartphones. iGeners are more likely to hang out alone at home then previous generations; they interact more with peers virtually through phones then in person (note, this is all statistics compared to previous generation. Lots of them still go to malls!). Because they spend less time together in person, they party less, have sex less and kill each other less than previous generations (since you need to around people for those things). On the other hand, being on screens makes them more depressed and suicide rates have grown. This book is not difficult to read and is truly eye opening. I work with college students and have noticed changes over the years. This book put words and data to much I've seen, so I appreciate it. If you work with young people, check this one out. It also makes me wonder what my kids generation will be. If a generation is roughly 15 years, iGen's last babies were born around 2010. My kids were born 2011 and 2014. My prediction - they never own cars as Uber and other services, as well as self-driving cars, take over.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Donahue

    There are positives and negatives for this new, tech addicted generation. The upside is that they are safe: less teen pregnancies, drinking, car accidents, etc. This is because they never go out and do anything. The downside is that they are very immature, scared and depressed. Because they don't go out and do things and aren't independent they don't have a lot of confidence. They are also depressed because of social media and lack of face to face human interaction. Even 2 hours a day of screen There are positives and negatives for this new, tech addicted generation. The upside is that they are safe: less teen pregnancies, drinking, car accidents, etc. This is because they never go out and do anything. The downside is that they are very immature, scared and depressed. Because they don't go out and do things and aren't independent they don't have a lot of confidence. They are also depressed because of social media and lack of face to face human interaction. Even 2 hours a day of screen time ups the rate of depression by 40%. At least they seem to be more tolerant of different races and sexual preferences. The moral of this book is limit screen time and make sure your children have face to face interactions with other human beings.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    This was not an easy book to grapple with. By that I mean, there were times that I felt dismayed reading this book. (I mean, seriously, anyone who takes the time to read this book will be saddened to see the statistics on the decline of reading in general.) Other times I felt incredibly grateful that my children are growing up with a richness of REAL relationships around them. Some chapters were harder than others (mental health crisis); some were hopeful (increasing safety). I would recommend t This was not an easy book to grapple with. By that I mean, there were times that I felt dismayed reading this book. (I mean, seriously, anyone who takes the time to read this book will be saddened to see the statistics on the decline of reading in general.) Other times I felt incredibly grateful that my children are growing up with a richness of REAL relationships around them. Some chapters were harder than others (mental health crisis); some were hopeful (increasing safety). I would recommend this book in its entirety to anyone who works with or loves iGenners. However, if you don't think you can read it all, I would recommend at least the last chapter where Twenge gives practical considerations for how we should understand and help this generation. On another note... With this book I have hit my reading goal for the year!!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    I have two daughters that fit right into the generation covered by this book, the iGen. And I was happily surprised to see them and their friends bubble up from these pages. The things about the daughter’s friends that I always found odd, like not wanting to drive, and not reading books – ends up those are examples of different practices that people in this cohort exhibit to a much greater extent than in the past. I found those specific things odd because at their age I was the exact opposite an I have two daughters that fit right into the generation covered by this book, the iGen. And I was happily surprised to see them and their friends bubble up from these pages. The things about the daughter’s friends that I always found odd, like not wanting to drive, and not reading books – ends up those are examples of different practices that people in this cohort exhibit to a much greater extent than in the past. I found those specific things odd because at their age I was the exact opposite and knew of very few other kids who hadn’t read a book or hadn’t wanted a driver’s license. The key visible characteristic of this cohort is the reliance on smartphones for communications and interaction with the greater world. But the author also discusses broader needs in this group, such as the need for safety, and how this is changing education and relationships. Overall, I found this book left me with quite a lot to think about as I deal with my daughters and others of their generation. I believe I understand a bit more about how they think, and, with my marketing hat on, I think I better understand how they will consume in the future. I won’t be harping so much on my daughter to practice her driving and will start to read up on safe Uber usage. And I think I will approach my talks with them cajoling them to invest in their Roth IRAs by positioning the safety aspect of savings. This book has provided food for thought and actionable insights, and in an entertaining way.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    There are a tooooooooon of line graphs. So I came across the author after reading an article she wrote in The Atlantic about whether or not smartphones have destroyed a generation. I realize I may not be the target audience for this book - the conclusion is largely dedicated to parents on how to "save" their iGen children but I wanted to read this anyways because I was curious about the insights. I wanted to see how much of it held true for myself personally (being born in 1994, and so, on the edg There are a tooooooooon of line graphs. So I came across the author after reading an article she wrote in The Atlantic about whether or not smartphones have destroyed a generation. I realize I may not be the target audience for this book - the conclusion is largely dedicated to parents on how to "save" their iGen children but I wanted to read this anyways because I was curious about the insights. I wanted to see how much of it held true for myself personally (being born in 1994, and so, on the edge of both millennial and iGen). So it was amusing for me to see which trends were accurate and which were not, in terms of internet usage, social habits, and views on religion, mental health, politics, race, gender and the idea that this generation is growing older, later. Glad to have read it and understand a bit more about certain behavioural trends. Overall it did feel like the author had a conclusion in mind and created stories from the data to support her narrative. It may be my own bias at play but I thought it painted a far gloomier picture than necessary.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vlad

    I strongly disliked this book. Part of me felt that the author had too much self interest wrapped up in making the "iGen" label stick (for the purpose of growing her consulting and advisory practice). Part of me felt that much of the analysis was far too simplistic -- lumping together many sub-segments of behaviors and attitudes simply because they happen to share birth years. The most distasteful aspect of this book is the alarmist tone. I got the feeling that the author believes this generatio I strongly disliked this book. Part of me felt that the author had too much self interest wrapped up in making the "iGen" label stick (for the purpose of growing her consulting and advisory practice). Part of me felt that much of the analysis was far too simplistic -- lumping together many sub-segments of behaviors and attitudes simply because they happen to share birth years. The most distasteful aspect of this book is the alarmist tone. I got the feeling that the author believes this generation is totally off the rails and doomed and "completely unprepared for adulthood." The author seems to be out of touch with youth culture, using her subjects instead to make a doom and gloom prognostication that will help her win speaking engagements. The data feels manipulated for shock and profit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This was a fascinating book which I found very informative about over all trends and general shifts in culture with the iGen generation however I see its limitations. I’m not convinced every analysis was presented as objectively as it could have and as I listened to this one on audiobook and can’t visually revisit her graphs and statistics I’m left feeling slightly skeptical but over all more informed. Most of all I do think this book communicates that the constant state of innovation our world This was a fascinating book which I found very informative about over all trends and general shifts in culture with the iGen generation however I see its limitations. I’m not convinced every analysis was presented as objectively as it could have and as I listened to this one on audiobook and can’t visually revisit her graphs and statistics I’m left feeling slightly skeptical but over all more informed. Most of all I do think this book communicates that the constant state of innovation our world finds itself in is causing larger and larger social gaps between generations and that to bridge these gaps in families, schools, and workplaces, and for the younger generation’s success we need to be informed of these changes and differences with real data and an actual game plan.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Flaugher

    Glad to have grown up as generation x Interesting book detailing how the youngest generation grew up with electronics and has addiction problems to smart phones. I am glad to have grown up without monitoring devices detailing your daily activities.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    3.5 stars. Read for my Social/Emotional Wellness book group at the school where I work. This is an excellent, non-judgmental overview about the outlook, attitudes, and general mindset that characterizes the post-millennial generation, aka. "iGen". What I really appreciated about this work, was that it drew direct connections between adult actions that have translated into child behaviors - an important lesson for all of us, especially when it comes to using phones and social media. I found a lot 3.5 stars. Read for my Social/Emotional Wellness book group at the school where I work. This is an excellent, non-judgmental overview about the outlook, attitudes, and general mindset that characterizes the post-millennial generation, aka. "iGen". What I really appreciated about this work, was that it drew direct connections between adult actions that have translated into child behaviors - an important lesson for all of us, especially when it comes to using phones and social media. I found a lot of the graphs (and this book is jam packed with stats & graphs) difficult to interpret and feel that they could have been laid out more clearly - my colleagues also found them unclear, so it's not just me. I think that this is a vital read for most adults, as we all be helping to guide this generation to find their path, and it is clear that they are going to need more assistance than any generation before them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Most of the content in this book is being debated and discussed and philosophized about in a variety of online magazines (and other books). I suspect that every reader will find what they want in this book--cell phones are terrible, but every generation changes in response to new technology; children are selfish, but they seem less prone to vandalism. I suspect this book is best approached as a compendium of charts and graphs.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aberdeen

    Concerning (disturbing at points) but important and helpful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    A bit oversimplified but good first look at the latest generation to start the conversation

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aj Swanson

    Phenomenal look at the generation after millennial. Data has been referenced in multiple books i have read. Must read for anyone working with teenagers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyrill

    I'm sure some will dislike Twenge's proclivity to edge away from the data into more esoteric speculation but the data itself and the clarity of her presentation and analysis of it more than makes up for this. If this is not an important book, I don't know what is. This is just the foundations and the fuse to what will surely be hundreds of studies and design projects. It's a bit like discovering the 95% of our DNA that doesn't code for anything or the 97% of our universe we haven't detected. Ther I'm sure some will dislike Twenge's proclivity to edge away from the data into more esoteric speculation but the data itself and the clarity of her presentation and analysis of it more than makes up for this. If this is not an important book, I don't know what is. This is just the foundations and the fuse to what will surely be hundreds of studies and design projects. It's a bit like discovering the 95% of our DNA that doesn't code for anything or the 97% of our universe we haven't detected. There is clearly something big here and thus far we have failed to see it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was an interesting glimpse of our youngest generation, and probably of particular interest to parents and teachers, though all of us are sharing the country/world with the generation Twenge names “iGen” because of they have never known life without smartphones. I thought the first few chapters were the most powerful and most closely aligned with Twenge’s argument: that growing up with smartphones in their hands has significantly affected young adults. Of particular concern is the spike in a This was an interesting glimpse of our youngest generation, and probably of particular interest to parents and teachers, though all of us are sharing the country/world with the generation Twenge names “iGen” because of they have never known life without smartphones. I thought the first few chapters were the most powerful and most closely aligned with Twenge’s argument: that growing up with smartphones in their hands has significantly affected young adults. Of particular concern is the spike in anxiety, depression and suicide. Also of note is the prolonged childhood many “iGen”ers experience - not without help from their parents, obviously- that leaves them ill-prepared for the risks and negotiations of adult life. I thought Twenge’s discussion of “safe spaces” was illuminating. But as she moves into iGen attitudes regarding family, relationships, and politics, her argument loses focus.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Great overview of the latest generation as they come of age. Heaps of food for thought.

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