The Smartphones Have Taken Our Teens


It’s hard not to notice that every teen you see seems to be staring at a tiny screen. I was sitting in a restaurant noticing that every teen (and mostly every child) in the place was into at some kind of tech (in spite of being seated at the table with their parents). I wondered what kids were doing when their parents aren’t around. I asked my middle schooler: How many kids are on their phones at school? What percentage would you think?

Here was her answer:

“Well, phones aren’t allowed out in the classroom, so only a couple of people are using them during class. One girl live streams herself while she is doing work, and I’m like, ‘Who is even watching that? Isn’t everyone else in class right now?’ But then I found out she’s got ten or twelve viewers, and I’m thinking, what the heck? Is some old guy just watching her do her math from home?

At the start of each class, everybody is checking their phones. Everybody with a phone- which is basically everybody. They have to update their statuses or whatever before the start of class. Nobody is talking to anybody else, they are just scrolling on the screens and taking selfies and posting. And I’m standing there with my lame flip phone just looking around while nobody talks to me.

And then during lunch, everyone… like literally everyone is staring at a screen of some kind. Well, because at lunch it’s allowed. So people might gather in a small group and all look at a video on one person’s phone or whatever, but everyone is looking at a screen.

The girls are on Snapchat and Instagram. And the boys are playing video games, like Fortnite.”


She’s in the 6th grade.

Posted on May 7, 2018 .