Social media, pampering parents, and greater pressure to succeed — today’s “kids” have a lot to deal with. However, is it causing them to mature more quickly or more slowly than prior generations?

Adults who remember a childhood free of the restrictions, oversight, and digital demands that today’s youth face argue that kids don’t get to be kids anymore. It could be true in certain aspects. At the age of ten, the average parent gives their child a smartphone, allowing them unlimited access to news, social media, and other amenities usually reserved for adults, forcing them to mature emotionally before they reach adulthood. It’s known as “KGOY,” or “kids getting older younger,” and it refers to the fact that today’s children are more educated than past generations. The notion is based on marketing, and it states that due to KGOY, children have a higher level of brand awareness than their parents, hence items should be sold to children rather than their parents. Experts have tried to prove the early demise of childhood by pointing to causes ranging from the age at which children receive a smartphone to the fact that children are now watching more adult television programs, to the problem of teenage girls being pressured to think about their appearance due to increased exposure to beauty ideals on social media.

Technology may be exposing children to more information, allowing them to become more intellectually savvy. However, whether they are growing up faster or not may be a question of perspective. It may also be time to rethink what we consider to be maturational milestones and what it means to mature quickly.