“When I was your age, we only had one phone in the house.”
“When I was your age, we spent time with our families.”
“When I was your age, we didn’t text in class.”
Every kid has heard it a billion times before—from their parents, grandparents, and teachers. The “kids these days” and “when I was your age” arguments never seem to end and are met with an adolescent’s eye roll every time they’re presented.
Something “kids these days” often do not realize is the difference between their generation and previous ones. The United States Census reported in 1985 that only 8 percent of households owned computers. By 2012, that number increased to 79 percent.
Computers are not the only way to access the internet; the popularization of smartphones has made the internet easily accessible for many. In 2011, 23 percent of American teenagers had a smartphone. By 2015, only four years later, that number increased to 73 percent, according to Pew Research Center.
This evolution of technology has changed the way people interact with one another. Traditionally, social interactions have formed friendships. For teens, these interactions used to take place at school or during extracurricular activities. Now, more than ever, those interactions are being held on the internet.