Dalina is sitting at the piano, staring at her smartphone, playing a few notes. She’s using an app to learn a song. And when she packs her school bag, there’s one thing she never forgets: her smartphone. She turns it off in class. She’s resolute about that, even when others are playing Candy Crush Saga, getting stressed out texting or continually checking Facebook posts. “If a teacher catches you, they confiscate your mobile anyway”, she says briefly.
Parents can tell a thing or two about how obsessed their youngest family members are with their smartphones. Some lose their patience when their children are busy organizing a party with WhatsApp at the dinner table and their phones keep going off every few minutes. WhatsApp has 700 million members. It is the most downloaded smartphone app in the world. Anyone who doesn’t have a mobile phone and is not networked feels left out. However, as soon as parents join Facebook, the site quickly loses its appeal for teenagers.
The latest dedicated line is Instagram. 300 million people use it every day to share over 70 million photos, upload videos, like and comment on pictures. If you’re not “on stage”, you’re left out. Dalina, Alessia and Vinzenz, three young adults from Liechtenstein, can’t imagine a life without apps. They surf, communicate, listen to music, learn vocab, but they don’t disclose everything about themselves. Sometimes, they even switch their mobile phones off.