U-CF School District addresses today's 'iGen' teens
● By J. Chambless
The community is invited to find out
more about today's young people as the Unionville-Chadds Ford School
District hosts a public discussion of the book “iGen: Why Today’s
Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant,
Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood” on March
The new book by Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, looks at young people born after 1995, 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.
In the book, Twenge says that 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 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, Twenge feels, saying that 18-year-olds look and act like 15-year-olds used to.
As this new group of young people grows into adulthood, Twenge writes, 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.
Drawing from nationally representative surveys of 11 million young people as well as in-depth interviews, “iGen” is the first book to document the cultural changes shaping today’s teens and young adults, documenting how their changed world has impacted their attitudes, worldviews, and mental health.
The March 20 program is presented by the UCFSD Wellness Committee. It is free and open to the whole community. It will be held at 7 p.m. in the Unionville High School library.
On April 12 at 7 p.m., Twenge will appear at the school for a lecture and program on the book, as well as her other five books.