“There’s this idea now that identity is built independent of relationships, not within them,” says the psychologist Leslie Bell.
“So only once you’re ‘complete’ as an adult can you be in a relationship.” Twenty-year-old Georgia college student James feels that way.
a name I started calling this generation because of the large, abrupt shifts I started seeing in teens’ behaviors and emotional states around 2012 — exactly when the majority of Americans started to use smartphones.
That’s not to say that one way is right and the other isn’t, but they are very different viewpoints on the best way to spend the high-energy years of your life.One of the ways this shows up in their behavior is dating — or not: In large, national surveys, only about half as many i Gen high school seniors (vs.Boomers and Gen X’ers at the same age) say they ever go out on dates.In i Gen’ers’ view, they have lots of things to do on their own first, and relationships could keep them from doing them.Many young i Gen’ers also fear losing their identity through relationships or being too influenced by someone else at a critical time.The relationship-unfriendly phrase “Never compromise” doubled between 19. “I love me.” “I question the assumption that love is always worth the risk.There are other ways to live a meaningful life, and in college especially, a romantic relationship can bring us farther from rather than closer to that goal,” wrote Columbia University sophomore Flannery James in the campus newspaper.Early on, teens (especially girls) learn that sexy pictures get likes.You’re noticed for how your butt looks in a “sink selfie” (in which a girl sits on a bathroom sink and takes a selfie over her shoulder Kim Kardashian style), not for your sparkling personality or your kindness.Social media and dating apps also make cheating extremely easy.“Like your boyfriend could have been talking to somebody for months behind your back and you’ll never find out,” 15-year-old Madeline from the Bronx said in the social media expose .