TIME Smartphones

This Is What Teens Are Really Doing on Their Phones

New report reveals all

It’s amazing how glued snake people—er, millennials—are to their palm-sized, Internet-connected rectangles. But why?

Mary Meeker, the Morgan Stanley analyst turned venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins, today released her annual report on Internet trends. One section—slides 68 through 70, in particular—digs into the mobile habits of American youth, and it reveals some interesting statistics.

Fortune senior writer Leena Rao has a breakdown of the year’s biggest overall trends here. But for the millennial scrutinizer, here’s what the 2015 slideshow has to say:

First off, 87% of young adults—or those between the ages of 18 and 34—who own smartphones report never separating from their mobile devices: “My smartphone never leaves my side, night or day.” And four-out-of-five of them report that the first thing they do upon waking “is reach for my smartphone.” Good morning, screen-glow.

Nearly as many, 78%, spend more than two hours per day using their smartphones. And three-out-of-five believe that mobile devices will somehow vaguely rule every aspect of the future: “In the next five years, I believe everything will be done on mobile devices.”

So what do teens care about now on their phones? For those who average roughly 16 years, about one third report prioritizing Instagram as the most important social network. That’s about the same as the share that reported Facebook [fortune-stock symbol=”FB”] was the most important in Spring 2013. Today, Facebook’s share of perceived importance has halved among that demographic.

While Zuck’s friend-zone still has the most penetration of any social network—about three-quarters of 12- to 24-year-olds use it—that share is in decline. It dropped from to 74% this year from 80% last year.

Other networks that lost some share include Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Vine stayed steady at 30% in terms of usage among socially networked 12- to 24-year-olds. And those networks on the rise? Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. (WhatsApp lacks 2014 data, but clocked in at 11% this year.)

Instagram appears to be the king, for now. (Never mind that it’s a Facebook fiefdom.) Which explains why so many—44% of 18- to 24-year-olds, that is—report report using their smartphone camera at least once per day. And an overwhelming majority—about three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds—report that they use their cameras to post pictures to social media.

So that’s how teens are mostly using their phones. To take pictures of the world around them, and to inject those photos into and across the screens that consume their mornings, their days, their nights, and a good portion of their present lives. Not to mention the entirety their future lives, as many of them report anticipating.

Unfortunately, the report does not break its numbers out into share of selfies.

TIME Education

3 Myths About the Gap Year

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A gap year is not a vacation

The term “gap year” traditionally applies to the year between high school graduation and college matriculation. For many students, the gap year is a time for adventure and personal exploration. While the gap year has long been an accepted tradition in other parts of the world, it is still growing in popularity in the United States. The reasons that a student might opt for a gap year are various: he or she might feel burned out after more than ten years of school, or he or she might desire a change of scenery and routine. Some students may simply feel uncertain about which direction to take after high school.

A well-structured gap year can inform your college and career path, and it can educate you in ways you might not have imagined. But the gap year you see on television is not always the gap year that you find in reality. Here are three gap year myths that stand in the way of honestly evaluating whether a gap year is right for you. Debunked, they may make your decision process much clearer:

1. A gap year is like a vacation

Your gap year is whatever you make of it. Certain students choose to work, while others complete internships. Some students volunteer, or they travel while pursuing a self-directed education. But each of these options involves effort. A gap year is not a week at the beach.

For instance, consider City Year, an AmeriCorps project that places individuals between the ages of 17 and 24 in high-needs communities across the United States. While you gain a stipend, real-world experience, health care, and access to scholarship money, you do so through completing long hours of challenging – and rewarding – work.

Internships and self-directed education also involve concentrated effort. Internships are like a work-learning hybrid, and they can be an excellent way to explore a potential career field. If you choose to participate in a gap year internship, be sure to do your research first. Look for internships that offer training in specific skills, as well as a reasonable number of hours per week. Beware of “internships” that are actually commission-based sales positions – or schemes that take advantage of your labor and savings.

Finally, websites like Coursera and Udacity offer free or low-cost education around which you can design a gap year. If you are undecided about what you would like to study in college, it makes a great deal of sense to explore various subjects before you begin to pay thousands of dollars a year in tuition. Self-directed education can also help you improve a weak academic portfolio. You can even develop marketable skills via programs like Codecademy. If possible, select those options that offer certificates of completion (or another way of tracking your progress) so you will have demonstrable proof of what you learned during your gap year.

2. A gap year can harm your admissions chances

The effect a gap year has on your college applications depends entirely on how you spend that year. A 12-month gap in your education and/or work history could be a significant warning sign for a prospective school, but if you instead participate in meaningful experiences, your gap year can serve as a significant admissions boon. A gap year can enable you to start college refreshed and eager, and for students with less impressive high school records, it can also be a chance to demonstrate your maturity and dedication to your personal growth.

Some schools, such as Princeton University, have even developed programs that allow admitted students to pursue a year of volunteer work before beginning their traditional college educations. In other words, prospective freshmen submit their applications in their senior year of high school, but they delay starting classes in order to complete a gap year project. Inquire with the admissions departments at your top-choice schools to determine if such a plan exists, or if they have advice for students who are interested in the gap year experience.

3. A gap year is expensive

Certain gap year programs require a significant monetary investment, but there are many opportunities for students who wish to spend less on this experience. For example, if you live at home and work part-time, you can participate in a volunteer project in your free hours. You can also further your education with the (mostly) free resources mentioned above. Delaying college for a year can seem like a daunting opportunity cost (as it also delays your entry into the workforce by a year), but a gap year can ultimately become an excellent long-term investment.

While deciding whether or not to pursue a gap year, work with your high school guidance counselor, as well as the admissions and financial aid departments at your top-choice colleges, to identify the best possible option for you and your goals.

Brian Witte is a professional SAT tutor with Varsity Tutors. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

TIME advice

Words of Wisdom From Maya Angelou

Poet and novelist Maya Angelou at a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America program in Mobile, Ala. on Sept 12, 2006.
John David Mercer—AP Poet and novelist Maya Angelou at a Sickle Cell Disease Association of America program in Mobile, Ala. on Sept 12, 2006.

"Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud"

Dr. Maya Angelou may be gone, but her legacy lives on. She has been immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp, and now, her iconic autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is being re-released, complete with a foreword by her “daughter-friend” Oprah Winfrey. The re-release ensures that her vast wisdom will live on, touching millions of lives and countless generations to come.

  • “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Women, that’s me.”
  • “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
  • “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  • “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
  • I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a b—-. You’ve got to go out and kick a–.”
  • “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
  • “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  • “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
  • “I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This article originally appeared on Essence.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the Best Jobs You Can Do In Your Pajamas

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Here's what kinds of jobs offer this perk

Whenever the topic of flexible work arrangements or work-life balance comes up, telecommuting is one of the first ideas that comes up. Fortunately for dedicated employees who just want a job where the commute doesn’t drive them to distraction, more companies today are coming around to the idea that telecommuting is a good option to offer, according to FlexJobs.com, a job search site that focuses on flexible positions, including ones that permit telecommuting.

And it’s not just worker bees who can reap the benefits. FlexJobs found that there are executive-level options for department heads, vice presidents and even C-level bosses who are sick of battling rush-hour traffic and compiled a list of 15 of the best. Not surprisingly, jobs in consulting and technology — where much of the work is conducted remotely anyway — turn up, but there are also jobs in healthcare, education and even the nonprofit sector that extend telecommuting benefits. Positions in sales, finance or HR also can provide opportunity for telecommuting.

“I think something that will surprise job candidates looking for executive-level telecommuting jobs is the number of large and well-known employers offering them,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. “Companies of all sizes hire for telecommuting jobs even at the highest levels of leadership,” she says.

For instance, there’s an academic employer looking for a director of research is happy to have a full-time telecommuter step into the role, and a big national firm is looking to fill a senior vice president of managed travel position that will require logging plenty of frequent-flier miles but can otherwise be performed from home.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that only low-level positions are eligible for telecommuting. “A typical telecommuter is 49 years old, college educated, and in a management or professional role,” FlexJobs says. One vice president of consulting gig wants candidates with 15 years experience — at minimum. A VP-level sales job requires 10 years of management experience, plus another decade focusing specifically on project management. And even though working from home means saving on gas, parking and/or public transportation tickets, these jobs don’t pay peanuts. FlexJobs says three-quarters of people who work from home pull down $65,000 a year or more.

Not only does letting people work from home let companies extend their talent search beyond driving distance of the office, but there’s a growing pile of research that suggests people are both happier and more productive when they have the option to lead conference calls in a bathrobe at least part of the time.

But if you think there might be perks to working in your PJs, you might need to make your case during an interview, Fell says. If a job ad says telecommuting is limited or available on a case-by-case basis, “The job candidate should prepare him or herself to make a case as to why they’re both an excellent fit for the job, and an excellent fit for telecommuting as well,” Fell says. And if you score a job where you’re trading in your briefcase for bunny slippers, the lack of face-to-face interaction also puts the onus on you to be proactive and straightforward in their communication style, she adds. “Job candidates who are interested in working remotely need to hone their communication skills [and] their ability to set goals for themselves and their teams.”

TIME fashion

Lilly Pulitzer Employee Posted Fat-Shaming Cartoons on Office Wall

While the plus-size line of its Target collaboration is only available online

A photo feature about the offices of fashion house Lilly Pulitzer has uncovered an uncomfortable detail: nestled among bright dress prints and fabric samples were some mean-spirited doodles.

The drawings, which an online New York article showed displayed on a wall in the Lilly Pulitzer offices, show two overweight women. On one, a caption says “Just another day of fat, white and hideous… you should probably just kill yourself.” The other is accompanied with the phrase, “Put it down, carb-face!”

A Lilly Pulitzer spokesperson said the illustrations were displayed by a lone member of staff but Twitter users erupted with outrage at cartoons many saw as fat-shaming:

“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area,” says Jane Schoenborn, Lily Pulitzer’s Vice President of Creative Communications. “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

The kerfuffle comes a few weeks after some accused the designer’s new collaboration with Target of discriminating against plus-sized customers; while all sizes up to 14 are carried in stores, larger sizes are only available online.



TIME career

5 Myths About Post-Grad Life

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“It’s almost impossible to find a job”

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hearing about how much being a Millennial sucks. Yes, we graduated during the worst economy since the Great Depression, and yes, everyone seems to think we’re lazy, entitled narcissists. But friends, we are powerful. Graduates right now have the opportunity to shape the new workplace, innovate in every industry, and connect with highly successful professionals with an ease that has never before been possible.

Unfortunately, the media loves making unfair generalizations about Millennials so much that we’ve actually started to believe some of them ourselves. To all you college seniors who are currently being bombarded with disheartening half-truths about yourself, your classmates, your job prospects, your social life, and your financial stability, allow me to bust up some of those myths for you.

1. “Millennials are unprepared for the work environment.”

Wrong. Lazy, entitled narcissists are unprepared for the work environment, so don’t be one. Work harder than everyone, be respectful and accommodating, learn eagerly, and you’ll be just fine. Yes, adjusting to your first full-time job is difficult, and there may be times when you do feel unprepared or incapable. But there hasn’t been some magical downward shift in the education of our generation that makes us less qualified than our predecessors. If you’ve worked hard in college, you will graduate with a knowledge base in your field and communication skills, and with those you’ll learn the specifics of your job when you get there.

2. “It’s almost impossible to find a job.”

Almost 70 percent of Millennials believe this one, so let’s get really real right now. Things that are almost impossible: becoming the President of the United States, winning three Lead Actress Emmys in a row (all hail Julia Louis-Dreyfus), figuring out whether the shift key is pressed or not on an iPhone keyboard. Finding a job? Not “almost impossible,” in fact it’s nowhere near the realm of impossible. Class of 2015, employers are planning to hire 9.6 percent more college graduates this year than last.Overall, the unemployment rate for college graduates ages 21-24 is 8.5 percent. Yes, that’s too high. Yes, it’s tough. But don’t psych yourself out by thinking it’s “almost impossible.”

3. “It’s all downhill from here.”

Oh hey, ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Life after college is as good as you decide it will be, so why go around predicting misery for yourself? Sure, there are some people who say that college was the best four years of their lives, but do your best not to become one of those people. There are so many terrifying, exciting, challenging, rewarding things to look forward to in life—focus on those.

4. “You have to pay to meet the right people.”

A few of my fellow recent graduates—particularly in media, I will admit—have told me that this myth was personally handed down to them upon graduation. People told them that in order to meet the right people and network effectively, you have to pay to attend fancy networking events or join pricey industry groups. If you can afford to spend some money on networking every once in awhile that’s great, but it’s certainly not necessary to get ahead. Oftentimes the most fruitful networking happens among peers, colleagues, at a random graduation party, or hell, even on public transportation.

5. “Living at home is awful.”

I’ve been out of school for 11 months now and am lucky enough to be able to live at home. It’s far from awful. Yes, there are some struggles—which I wrote about here—but being able to save money at this point in my life is beyond worth it. Boo hoo, you can’t get hammered and stumble home at 4 a.m. You don’t have to pay rent. Get over it.

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

More from Levo.com:

TIME career

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding Between Two Jobs

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Thinking about your career path should stay priority

It’s something you never thought possible amidst all the job searching and résumé polishing you’ve been up to lately: You have not one, but two job offers. #Rockstar. Now, you’re no longer stressed about finding employment—on the contrary, you’re struggling over which opportunity is best for your career. These five questions should give you some serious clarity:

1. Which job most closely embodies your ideal career path?

This should be the main consideration when choosing between two job offers, says Maggie Mistal, a career coach based in New York City. After all, she says, long-term happiness doesn’t come from financial gains; it comes from following your passion. “You spend most of your waking hours at work, so what you do needs to be aligned with who you are,” she adds.

2. How do the benefits packages compare?

This includes everything from salary to health care to vacation days. When weighing two jobs, ask yourself how each benefits package fits your needs, given your life stage. If you’re planning to have a baby in the near future, what is the maternity leave policy? If you want to travel frequently, how many vacation days are available? (But if something is a deal-breaker for you, make sure you try negotiate for what you want before you make a decision one way or another, says Mistal.)

3. Which office culture is a better fit for your personality?

Are people communicating with each other in the office? Do they get up from their desks to collaborate, or do they mostly chat through a messaging service or email? If you’re the type who thrives on collaboration, a “keep to yourself” office culture may not be best for you. And vice versa—if you need a quiet space to focus or discuss confidential client matters, a loud, buzzy floor plan may not be to your advantage.

4. Is there opportunity for growth?

“Ask about the typical career track for this position,” Mistal says. “Is advancement all about management, or are there other ways for you to move forward, such as becoming an adviser or project manager?” Think about where each job may lead you, and how it aligns with your own goals.

5. After doing a quick “background check” on each company, do you see any red flags?

“This means talking to people who are at the company or in the industry,” says Mistal. (This is the fun part—where you get to ask questions!) Google the company to see if any big news has been reported lately, and research the CEO and other C-Suite execs on LinkedIn to gauge their interests and experience.

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

More from Levo.com:

TIME Parenting

How To Explain the Point of Manners to Modern Kids

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It's not about rules

Sometimes it seems like all parents talk to kids about is manners, whether it’s prompting them to remember a “please” or “thank you,” or hurriedly informing them that it’s not polite to point out that their teacher’s new pantsuit is not overly flattering.

Manners can also be a source of conflict: some adults expect to be called “Mr. Smith,” while others offer a breezy “call me Jim!” And when kids aren’t sure what the rules are, manners can be a big source of anxiety.

But when kids understand how to handle themselves, it can give them confidence, says Elaine Swann, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, and the author of Let Crazy Be Crazy: Then Politely Get What You Want, Get Your Point Across, and Gently Put Rude People in Their Place.
That was true for Swann, who moved to the U.S. from Panama as a child, and found the assurance to make her way in a new culture by learning the etiquette.

It’s tempting to just drill elementary school kids on basic rules, Swann says. But it’s more important to help kids of any age understand that manners are about far more than obeying a set of requirements. “Manners are about putting other people at ease,” Swann says. So even at a young age, parents can encourage kids to offer kind words to others with questions like, “What kind of people do you like to be around?” followed by “How can we be more like that?”

By middle school, parents have usually hammered home the message that it’s not O.K. to talk with your mouth full. But Swann says that learning how to hold a conversation at mealtime is actually a far more important aspect of etiquette. Kids will need that skill all their lives, whether they’re interviewing for a job, or meeting prospective in-laws. And they learn best, Swann says, by doing. She encourages families to take every opportunity to sit down for a meal together, and really talk. Questions like “How was your day?” or “What do you think about the recent news?” aren’t just small talk—they’re key training to help kids get comfortable in all social settings.

High school kids can begin to think in terms of what Swann describes as the three core values of manners: respect, honesty, and consideration. A lot has changed since Swann started teaching etiquette 20 years ago, she says, in both culture and technology. But those core values remain the heart of all manners. Teaching kids to make eye contact and put away the phone at mealtimes is important. But it’s even more important, Swann says, to help them focus on what others are thinking and feeling. Parents can help kids think in these terms by asking questions like, “How do you think you would feel in that situation? How would you like to be treated?”

And at any age, Swann says, it’s important for parents to communicate that manners are not “something you turn on and off.” They are a way of life—learning how to be considerate of others, which helps kids feel confident themselves.

This article first appeared in TIME for Parents. Subscribe here!

TIME Body Image

California Woman Struggling With Severe Anorexia Shares Her Story

"I want other anorexics to hear this"

A California woman desperate to win her 10-year fight with anorexia shared her story online recently, ultimately raising enough money to transfer her to a specialized medical facility.

Rachael Farrokh, 37, opened up to ABC last week about her story of dropping from 125 pounds to a life-threateningly low weight—so low that many hospitals won’t admit her due to liability reasons, according to her GoFundMe page. The crowdfunding campaign, set up by her husband and caretaker, Rod Edmondson, 41, has raised more $160,000 of the $100,000 goal over 24 days.

“I want other anorexics to hear this,” Farrokh said. “This is miserable. Everything hurts from my head down to my toes. It’s really hard to [stay on topic], so what I try to do is have conversations with Rod and keep in contact with other victims on Facebook to be encouraging and supportive of one another.”

Read more at ABC

TIME feminism

Jessica Lange Says Hollywood Is Run From a ‘Male Point of View’

The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images Jessica Lange attends the "American Horror Story: Freak Show" event at the 32nd annual PaleyFest at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 15, 2015

"Even if a woman runs a studio, she still does it with a male point of view."

Actress Jessica Lange expressed little surprise that a movie studio reportedly turned down 37-year-old actress Maggie Gyllenhaal as “too old,” declaring that the entire movie making industry was run from a “male point of view.”

“Even if a woman runs a studio, she still does it with a male point of view,” Lange, the lead actor on the FX series American Horror Story, said in an interview with TheWrap.

“That men continue to be fascinating and attractive and virile, and women age and are no longer sexual or beautiful ,” she said. “It’s a fantasy that has nothing to do with reality.”

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