Being a teenager in 2018 sounds terrible.
If it sounds like a full-time job, that’s because it pretty much is — a gig they’ve aged into by virtue of becoming teenagers in the era of the smartphone. As the three friends laugh and chat with one another, their eyes are nearly always cast downward, glued to the devices held between their manicured fingers. The brands they are managing are their own. They post carefully curated updates and stylized pictures of themselves on various apps and platforms. They swipe left and right, opening and closing apps, gasping about the daily drama playing out on the glowing screen, and planning their next moves. They don’t consider it work — it’s more of a necessary pastime that’s become so routine, “it’s like breathing,” says Elina, who is 17. Often, they won’t even let sleep get in the way.
Also: The kids are already bored with this whole "internet in your pocket" thing.
To a parent or the casual observer, a phone-bored teen may appear engaged. After all, they’re on their phone, which many people consider an inherently engaging activity. In reality, they’re bored out of their mind.