The image of an average teenager changes with every generation: whether we’re talking about foot-high bangs held in place by Aquanet, eyebrows plucked into oblivion, or kids running wild in their knickerbockers playing a good old-fashioned game of trundling the hoop. Point is, kids change yo. And this generation, much to the chagrin of older folks, is largely marked by the presence of iPhones.
According to a new survey that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. According to the firm Piper Jaffray, 82 percent of teens surveyed own an iPhone. That’s eight in 10. You go into a classroom of, say, 24 kids, and 19.68 of those kids will have iPhones. (I don’t know what happened to the remaining third of that last child, but I’m a writer, not a math whiz.) In fact, the iPhone has been the phone of choice for teenagers for the past five years, according to this survey, and this year 86 percent of respondents said their next phone will be an iPhone, too.
In other teen news, the Apple Watch is the second most preferred brand of watch among teens—behind friggin’ Rolex. Whether the kids being surveyed actually own Rolexes or if that’s just their preferred brand the same way we like to say, “I prefer first class” is unclear. Though given that Piper Jaffray received “8,600 responses from teens across 48 states with an average age of 16,” we’d lean toward believing that it’s a completely aspirational preference.
Kids these days, with their fancy phones and their texting and their being in constant contact with loved ones. Back in our teen years, we had brick-phones from Nokia, and we had to use T-9 to text our friends, which took minutes. MINUTES! It was like living in the days of the Pony Express. And now teens all have their schmancy iPhones and, oh we can’t do this. Look: teenagers are dealing with a lot. On top of the regular angst, they have to deal with the possible rise of fascism, climate change, and the unending pressure to present an online presence that is equal measures cool and authentic.
So maybe instead of ribbing kids for being spoiled or always having their heads stuck in their phones, just give them a break and go back to playing Candy Crush. Or better yet, lead by example and go visit a National Park.