JACKSON HOLE, WYO – This generation, the one with faces awash in screen glow, has instant access to more facts, fake, and filth than any generation before it. Kids today grow up with smartphones. For many, it’s their connection to the world.
But the mobile technology brings bad with the good. Teen depression and suicide is up dramatically in recent years. The Atlantic went as far as to describe the iGen “as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades…[and]…Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.”
That August article in The Atlantic, titled “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” will be the topic of discussion for this Thursday’s Swap Meet at the Teton County Library.
The library’s new groundbreaking series is bringing together community members and elected officials for critical conversations. Town councilman Don Frank will moderate the topic tomorrow. Each week, different local elected leaders select articles on issues that interest them and then lead the discussions.
One more Swap Meet takes place next week on Wednesday, December 6 with Mayor Pete Muldoon discussing The Case for Reparations, from The Atlantic June 2014 article.
Library adult program coordinator Leah Shlachter created the Swap Meet to encourage both a conversation and exchange of ideas with people who don’t share the same views.
“The discussions so far have been fun, engaging, and productive,” Shlachter said. “While each discussion has its own personality, the topics chosen have naturally dovetailed into one another, truly creating a community-wide conversation that ties local issues to international ones—tying violence in free speech with Rep. Andy Schwartz to Russian trolls and fake news.”
Shlachter also notes the diverse opinions and different demographics that have been represented, such as in the inter-generational conversation about society’s treatment of women. Shlachter encourages citizens to “come get to know your elected officials, and let them get to know you and hear your voice.”