Whether or not smartphones harm children! Then what is? | Trending Viral hub


The anti-smartphone movement is having its moment. On March 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning children under the age of 14 from accessing social media platforms. In February, the UK government supported stricter guidance to prevent children from using their smartphones at school. Last year, grassroots organizations like Childhood without smartphones have risen to national prominence as parents worry about the damage that screens and social media could be doing to young people’s mental health.

Behind all this concern is a devilishly difficult question: What impact are smartphones having on our mental health? The answer depends on who you ask. For some, the evidence that smartphones are eroding our well-being It’s overwhelming. Others respond that Isn’t it that strong?. There is blogsso counterblogseach of them often point to the same scientific articles and draw opposite conclusions.

To this maelstrom we can now add two books, published within a week of each other, that sit in exactly opposite corners of the struggle. In The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental IllnessSocial psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt makes his argument that smartphones and social media are the key driver of the decline in youth mental health seen in many countries since the early 2010s.

The early 2010s were crucial, Haidt argues, because that’s when smartphones really began to transform childhood into something unrecognizable. In June 2010, Apple introduced its first front-facing camera and a few months later Instagram was launched in the App Store. For Haidt, this was a fateful combination. Suddenly, children were always online, always on display, and connected in ways that were often detrimental to their well-being. The result was a “tidal wave” of anxiety, depression and self-harm, which mainly affected girls.

However, according to Haidt, smartphones are only part of the problem. He thinks that in the West, children are prevented from developing healthily thanks to a culture of “safety” that keeps them at home, protects them from risks and replaces free and rough play with organized sports directed by adults or, worse still, Games Of video. To demonstrate safetyism in action, Haidt contrasts the image of a 1970s merry-go-round (“the best playground equipment ever invented”) with a modern set of playground equipment designed with safety in mind and therefore providing security. Children have fewer opportunities to learn from risky games.

In a nutshell, this is Haidt’s big wiring: childhood has gone from predominantly play-based to phone-based, and as a result, young people are less happy as children and less competent as adults. They are also, Haidt seems to argue, more bored. Today, high school seniors in the United States are less likely to have drank alcohol, had sex, had a driver’s license, or worked than their predecessors. Wrapped in cotton wool by their parents and absorbed into their online lives, young people are not making a healthy transition to adulthood, Haidt maintains.

These arguments are familiar from Haidt’s 2018 book, The pampering of the American mind, co-authored with journalist and activist Greg Lukianoff. It’s not just that American children are experiencing worse mental health than before, Haidt suggests, but that their transition to adulthood is now hampered by modern parenting and technology. “We once had a new generation hooked on smartphones before At the onset of puberty, there was little room left in the flow of information entering their eyes and ears for guidance from mentors in their real-world communities. during puberty,” Haidt writes in his latest work.


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