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A New Look at the Next Generation

Aug 17, 2017
Ideas
Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

Kids these days: they're immature for their age, obsessed with their phones and more comfortable texting than talking. In her new book iGen, psychology professor Jean M. Twenge (who has previously written a book about millennials, Generation Me) retreads much of this territory. But perhaps her most surprising finding is that those born since 1995 are obsessed with safety. iGen'ers are "less likely to go out without their parents," she writes, and less likely to agree with statements like "I like to test myself every now and then by doing something a little risky." They're safer drivers, with fewer accidents and tickets, and they are half as likely as Gen X-ers to get in a car with a driver who's been drinking.

And yet, "iGen'ers seem terrified — not just of physical dangers but of the emotional dangers of adult social interaction," Twenge writes. Their caution may help keep them safe, she finds. But it also makes them vulnerable.


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