Jonathan Haidt

Porn and social media are killing childhood


April 19, 2024
Loading video...

Description

Since 2012, youth mental health across the West has steadily declined. Jonathan Haidt is an American social psychologist, co-author of bestseller The Coddling of the American Mind and author of the new book The Anxious Generation. His theory is simple: the introduction of smartphones to children around 2011 accelerated the crisis of social media addiction. He joins UnHerd’s Florence Read to discuss parenting, porn and the age of anxiety.

You can watch the full interview above.


Discussion

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike MacCormack
Mike MacCormack
1 month ago

Don’t want to be too negative – but getting these young adolescents to give up using their smartphones while they ‘grow up’ is never going to happen. This connected life IS their life now. How you stop them criticising or shaming one another on social media is anybody’s guess. This toothpaste is out of the tube, but expect the unexpected – who would have thought that teenagers would lose interest in each other sexually because of an overabundance of titillation online? But it seems they have seen more than they care to see, and they think that all the courtship palaver we had to get to grips with at their age is not only ridiculous but boring.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago

The non-factual assertion that it’s too late and nothing can be done is too negative, and too convenient. It would be more honest to say that exercising more parental control over adolescent behavior takes more time and effort and too many parent are willing to spend. Many need to start by getting a grip (or release of grip) on their own screen dependency. Many of us non-parents do too.
Yes some parents and some children under 15 will prove unresponsive or genuinely incapable getting it together, for their their own or the greater good. But the impossibility of a complete fix does not preclude improvement, nor a reduction in individual and total harm. I have adolescent-girl relatives who are thus far avoiding most of this madness because of their left-of-center but technology-strict parents. They complain some about what “everyone else” does, but they are also quite happy and athletic. They read a lot of print books and play non-electronic games. 13-year-olds who come over may complain about having to surrender their devices but then tend to be glad they did, and come to visit again.
Calling this social predicament hopeless while we still have human agency–along with the underemployed option of greater parental and societal control–is not sober realism. It is a cop out.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.