Commonwealth Policy Center
Many prominent authors and researchers are writing about the mental health challenges of Generation Z. They’re linking it to the changing media ecology in which these kids have grown up, namely social media and smartphone usage. Jonathan Haidt has identified an “anxious generation” formed by a “phone-based childhood” rather than a “play based childhood.” Young people are spending an inordinate amount of time curating online profiles far removed from reality and healthy child development. Children today have fewer personal interactions and are often bullied and unfairly compared to others in an online environment. In essence, they’re isolated, which isn’t healthy. Fortunately, work is being done in state legislatures across the country to limit children’s social media use and to protect them from the harms of today’s media ecology.