When you’re a parent there are certain worries about your children that – eventually – resolve.
You worry they will never sleep through the night – and then, almost miraculously, they do.
You worry they will ever stop inverting their letters when they first start to write – and then you spy that perfect B.
You worry they will never make a friend at their new school – then this boy called Josh is sitting on your couch, eating all your Barbecue Shapes.
Then there are worries that seem to grow more complicated. Worries that act like a persistent itchy skin disease inside your mind. They are always there, some days you don’t notice them so much, other days they take over.
You worry about whether they are building resilience.
You worry about what kind of world they will live in.
And you worry what the hell those smartphones are doing to them?
I know I’m not the only one who is developing a growing unease with smartphones. I’m not a psychologist, I’m no researcher, I’m not a doctor or even a candlestick maker, but I can’t help but look around me – at cafes and bus-stops, beaches and footpaths – and think too much time on smartphones is not in anyone’s longer term best interests.
Surely engaging with a smartphone is no substitute for engaging with the real world, your own thoughts, your own creativity, nature, friends, family, the dog?
Deep down I know the answer to that. I think a lot of parents know it too. That’s why they are sharing this story across the globe: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation.
Written by US psychologist, author and research specialist on millennials, Jean M Twenge, the article forensically examines one of the most potent and pervasive fears of modern parents: what is the technology that our children hold in their hands doing to them? Are we right to be worried this technology – and the accompanying social media – is hurting them deeply and fundamentally?