Cell phones pose serious risks to children

  • 2 Min To Read
  • a month ago

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has recently stirred controversy with his new book, "The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness." In the book, Haidt argues that children should have limited to no access to smartphones and social media until they turn 16. While some have questioned the science behind Haidt's claims, he maintains that his perspective is based on years of research that highlight increasing mental health struggles among American tweens and teens.

Haidt's concerns are echoed by the American Psychological Association, which released a report criticizing social media platforms for being "inherently unsafe for children." The APA emphasizes that children lack the experience, judgment, and self-control to navigate these platforms safely, placing the burden not only on parents but also on platform developers.

Haidt believes that society is at a tipping point, and without intervention, the mental health of young people could be at risk indefinitely. He proposes four simple norms to address the crisis, including restricting smartphone and social media access until high school, implementing phone-free schools, and promoting more independence, free play, and responsibility in the real world.

Despite the challenges of convincing parents to change their children's smartphone habits, Haidt emphasizes the importance of taking action to prevent further increases in rates of mental illness and self-harm among adolescents. He warns that failing to address these issues could have significant social and economic implications, including a decline in heterosexual dating and marriage rates and a negative impact on the American economy as a whole.

As the debate over children's smartphone usage continues, it is clear that Haidt's message has sparked important conversations about the role of technology in shaping the mental health and well-being of today's youth.


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