If you wanted to design a highly effective medieval torture device for teens and young adults, it would look a lot like our new normal. It’s the ultimate in being grounded, because everyone else is grounded too.
It’s difficult for most people to remain at home indefinitely. But being forced to stay home, away from friends and favorite hangouts, is undoubtedly a special kind of hell for most teens and young adults, especially those who have returned home from college and are doing distance learning while having to unexpectedly live with their parents again.
When Emmett Hulser-Morris was 11, he and his friends dared each other to type “porn” into the Google search bar. As soon as titillating images appeared, they deleted the window. “We got freaked out,” says Hulser-Morris, now 17.
With the popularity of such television shows as 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, the topic of teen depression has seized the minds of parents — and for good reason: A recent study shows that the rate of major depression among teens (ages 12 to 17) increased 52% between 2005 and 2017, with as many as one in eight experiencing at least one depressive episode in the past 12 months. One explanation, of course, is the rise in cyberbullying, which is strongly linked to depression and suicidal thoughts in teenagers.
As these numbers have increased, parents and teachers have been struggling…