1. In The Coddling, @glukianoff and I pointed to Instagram as a main suspect in the sudden rise of depression/anxiety among Gen Z girls that began around 2012.

New report: Facebook’s own internal research supports that hypothesis.

2. Some background: The increase in teen depression/anxiety is very large and sudden, around 2012, in USA, Canada, and UK. Bigger for girls. See this Google doc lit review with many graphs:

3. The evidence that the surge of depression/anxiety around 2012 was caused in part by social media is compelling but not definitive. Most correlational & experimental studies find a link. @jean_twenge and I compile studies here:
4. On social media and mental health: nearly ALL of the research assumes a dose-response model—SM harms only the user. But SM and esp. Instagram have emergent systemic effects, putting all teen girls into a prestige economy based on their appearance.
5. The new prestige economy creates a bizarre and unhealthy social world much like an episode of Black Mirror (e.g., Nosedive), even for girls who rarely use Instagram:
6. I can see no way to fix Instagram for minors. Any platform that encourages children to upload photos of themselves, to be rated and commented on by strangers, is likely to harm many kids. I wish I could raise my daughter in a world that had no such platforms.
7. What will Facebook do now? Their findings are only 2 years old, so they are not yet like Big Tobacco. For starters, how about two demonstrations of good faith: 1) stop the widespread use of Instagram by pre-teens, and 2) publicly renounce the plan for “Instagram for Kids”.

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More from @JonHaidt

3 May 20
1. I join emerging consensus that “screen time” is not well-linked to mental health problems for teens. Yet @jean_twenge and I find that most studies that clear “screen time” do not clear social media for girls. Great summary by Markham Heid:

2. I've been persuaded by debate & discussion with @candice_odgers, @CJFerguson1111, @OrbenAmy & @ShuhBillSkee that some forms of “screen time” are good, esp when promoting synchronous interaction (FaceTime, Zoom, multiplayer video games); and of course many are educational.
3. But when you read headlines like “don’t freak out about screen time” they usually cite a paper by @OrbenAmy & @ShuhBillSkee which reported that screen time is no more predictive of problems than is "eating potatoes."

Read 17 tweets
3 Dec 19
A solid replication of a Moral Foundations Theory finding was just published. In study 1, Jeremy Frimer obtained his own set of sermons from Unitarian and Baptist preachers. When he did what we did, he found what we found:
In our original paper we noted that word count is a crude tool; you need to look at words in context. When we did that, effect size grew, loyalty foundation reversed: cons endorsed it more. Frimer did not look at words in context in any of his 8 studies.
In our original paper (with Jesse Graham and @BrianNosek) we noted that Repub/Dem convention speeches were strategic communications, appealing to broad audiences; simple word counts don’t capture the difference:
Read 8 tweets
26 Nov 19
For teachers and parents: Here is my best lecture (30 min) laying out the stats on depression/anxiety for Gen Z, and 2 main causes (overprotection, and too-early social media), and how to educate in response. From @ExcelinEd 2019

@ExcelinEd For a deep dive into the studies that motivate the first 2 recommendations, about social media, please see this page:

@ExcelinEd For a page with specific advice for parents, please see this page:

Read 5 tweets
31 Aug 19
Here's a bad kind of argument: If you favor X and some very bad people favored X, then you are wrong and, by association, bad. Here is @evefairbanks in WaPo likening me & others who favor “facts, reason, and civil discourse” to defenders of slavery:
@evefairbanks But a major risk of guilt by association arguments is that they can be turned back on their makers, as @marksjo1 does here, noting that those same very bad people sided with Fairbanks on some points, while some very good people did not:
@evefairbanks @marksjo1 An occupational hazard of being a centrist is that some assume that if you criticize them, you must be on the other team. Fairbanks does this w me, @SamHarrisOrg & others, labeling us all right wing. This binary thinking is The Untruth of Us vs Them (ch. 3 of The Coddling)
Read 8 tweets
9 Jan 19
On the @joerogan Experience, I showed graphs showing the sudden and sharp rise of depression and self-harm among U.S. teens, esp. girls, after 2011. But I FORGOT TO SHOW THE SUICIDE GRAPH; see below:
Here's the key section of our talk: #TheCoddling Image
In #TheCoddling, @glukianoff and I say why we think the spike for Gen Z has 2 major causes: Overprotection, since the 1990s, and social media, since around 2010. Here's the graph I showed on @joerogan for major depression: Image
In the video clip I explain why social media affects teen girls much more adversely than teen boys. You can see the different effects in this graph of changes in self-harm leading to hospitalization. No change for boys.
(data is from jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/… ) Image
Read 11 tweets

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