“iGen”: a generation of children who have grown up with smartphones

The iGen

“iGen”: they’re the first generation to spend their entire adolescence with a smartphone. What makes iGen different? Growing up with a smartphone has affected nearly every aspect of their lives. They spend a large proportion of their time on the internet, texting friends and on social media Here are some characteristics of this generation.

SOURCE: The Conversation


The previous century has been arbitrarily divided into generations on the basis of the year of birth of an individual. The graphic shown below outlines the basis for this division and lists the names given to each generation.

 “iGen”: they’re the first generation to spend their entire adolescence with a smartphone. What makes iGen different? Growing up with a smartphone has affected nearly every aspect of their lives. They spend a large proportion of their time on the internet, texting friends and on social media Here are some characteristics of this generation.

  • They spend so much time on the internet, texting friends and on social media – an average of about six hours per day – that they have less leisure time for everything else; whether it’s going to parties, shopping at the mall, watching movies or aimlessly driving around, iGen teens are participating in these social activities at a significantly lower rate than their millennial predecessors.
  • Teens who spend more time on screens are less happy and more depressed, and those who spend more time with friends in person are happier and less depressed.
  • A 2014 study found that sixth graders who spent just five days at a camp without using screens ended the time better at reading emotions on others’ faces, suggesting that iGen’s screen-filled lives might cause their social skills to atrophy.
  • In addition, iGen reads books, magazines and newspapers much less than previous generations did as teens: In one survey, the percentage of high school seniors who read a nonrequired book or magazine nearly every day dropped from 60 percent in 1980 to only 16 percent in 2015.
  • This isn’t to say that iGen teens don’t have a lot going for them. They are physically safer and more tolerant than previous generations were. They also seem to have a stronger work ethic and more realistic expectations than millennials did at the same age.
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