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Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

New conversations every other Wednesday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Apr 3, 2024

In The Anxious Generation, Jonathan Haidt explores the simultaneous rise in teen mental illness across various countries, attributing it to a seismic shift from a "play-based childhood" to a "phone-based childhood" around the early 2010s. He argues that the negative effects of this "great rewiring of childhood" will continue to worsen without the adoption of several norms and a more hands-on approach to regulating social media platforms.

But might technological advances and good old human resilience allow kids to adapt more easily than he thinks?

Jonathan joined Tyler to discuss this question and more, including whether left-wingers or right-wingers make for better parents, the wisest person Jonathan has interacted with, psychological traits as a source of identitarianism, whether AI will solve the screen time problem, why school closures didn't seem to affect the well-being of young people, whether the mood shift since 2012 is not just about social media use, the benefits of the broader internet vs. social media, the four norms to solve the biggest collective action problems with smartphone use, the feasibility of age-gating social media, and more.

Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.

Recorded February 14th, 2024.

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Photo Credits: Jayne Riew