Any time a new technology is introduced, it disrupts values, routines and behaviors. This goes back well before the printing press replaced oral histories or the telephone replaced face-to-face conversations, but is evident today in our regular habits of checking our smartphones for notifications. Kids are growing up with the expectation of auto-playing streaming videos and having access to our phones when we need them to be quiet. Kids are growing up with the expectation of auto-playing streaming videos and having access to our phones when we need them to be quiet. And doctors used to urge parents to discourage media use under age 2, and to limit kids' use to two hours a day, at most Human anxieties about these changes can take years to resolve, as we slowly figure out how to control the technology to meet our values and needs, rather than being controlled by it.
To assess the research, we went to Jean Twenge, author of the book "iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us"; Michael Rich, founder and director of the Center on Media and Child Health in Boston and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School; and Cara Booker, research fellow and acting graduate director at the University of Essex in the U.K., who has studied the effects of social-media use on children and adolescents. WSJ: What does the evidence tell us about the links between screen time and children's mental health? RICH: Perhaps the question should be whether screen use can be problematic for mental health. In an era when educational technology has deeply penetrated our schools--even preschoolers are handed tablets now--there are screens in all public places, and virtually everyone has interactive screen media at home and in their pockets, the concept of screen time as something that could be controlled is obsolete. With one exception, screen time is less important to mental health than screen content and the context in which it is consumed and created.
On a balmy evening in Dakar, seven young women were gathered in the basement of a local university, not far from the city's Monument of African Renaissance statue. Lit by the white glow of a projector screen, they tapped eagerly at laptops as the speakers covered everything from how to market your business on Instagram, to designing a website and using WhatsApp to sell your products.
The average millennial is often depicted as driving for Uber, making clothes for Etsy, starting a food truck and maybe a software company on the side. In other words, millennials are typically considered the most entrepreneurial generation. That's why I was surprised to see that "millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in history." That's what Economic Innovation Group co-founder John Lettieri told the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship last year. A 2016 survey found that while millennials admire startup founders and self-employment, they're wary of starting businesses in a touch economic climate and saddled with financial challenges (like high levels of student debt).
I grew up in a small town in Transylvania, and will always remember the day when I assembled my first computer and loaded the first mp3 songs and movies on it. At the time we didn't yet have Internet in my home, and I was exchanging files via CDs with my friends and my father's colleagues. By the time I went to college, my campus had its own intranet, and my friends and I built up a collection of hundreds of albums, television series, movies, software packages, anything you could imagine. It was as if all of the students were part of this giant web, seeding and peering on torrents while constantly exchanging the latest school news in forums and chat rooms. Later, I used the internet to find my first internship abroad, master's scholarship, job, and apartment.