How To Rescue ‘The Anxious Generation’ From The Smartphones Ruining Their Lives

(The Federalist) In The Anxious Generation, Jonathan Haidt marshals the evidence for returning to a play-based, rather than phone-based, childhood. Parents must band together to bring their kids back to reality and health.

During my freshman orientation in the fall of 2016, I remember reading a post from a classmate explaining why a classroom phone ban was unfeasible: “Sometimes, if I’m about to have a panic attack, I just have to look at a picture of a cat immediately.” This was met with comments expressing sympathy.

This was the early days after the Great Rewiring, a term Haidt uses for the period from 2010 to 2015, when teens’ lives moved online and their mental health plummeted. The sad irony of my classmate’s approach is that dependency on cat pictures to avoid momentary discomfort does not reduce anxiety, it exacerbates it. As Haidt wrote in The Coddling of the American Mind, young people seem to live by the phrase, “What doesn’t kill me makes me weaker.”  (Read More)

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