Jeff Jarvis Profile picture
Apr 16 23 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
.@JoeNBC: I said I would share research on youth and social media. A family crisis intervened; apologies for the delay. Here are useful links. A long 🧵and 📸 /1
To start: Here's a good overview from London's @theipaper reviewing research and "misleading tactics" from Jon Haidt, Jean Twenge & John Burn-Murdoch. "A lot of the evidence is shaky and unclear." 2/…
Amy Orben, a leading researcher in the field, studied large social datasets with 355k subjects & found "the association of well-being with regularly eating potatoes was nearly as negative as the association with technology use." In other words: small. 3/…
In another study, Orben et al "found that social media use is not, in and of itself, a strong predictor of life satisfaction across the adolescent population.... Most effects are tiny--arguably trivial." 4/…
One more from Orben et al finding no increase in associations between adolescents' use of digital technology and mental health problems. 5/…
Here is an excellent article from Utah State showing how Haidt draws conclusions from incomplete data. Haidt says suicide correlates with the growth of the social media--when in fact teen suicide peaked in the 1990s, *long* before the phone & web. 6/…
Taylor Barkley: "Suicide, self-harm, and depression all pre-date social media & smartphones. These are not new problems. The longer-term data...demonstrate that these issues are not unique to the social media era." 7/
Similarly, critic John Warner disagrees with Haidt's contention that youth are overparented & the phone did them in by 2012. "They had not been coddled, they'd been defeated...They were operating under years of stress & had reached a breaking point." 8/…
In The Times, Temple psychology prof Laurence Steinberg digs deeper into the Facebook study Haugen quotes often in media on 3 of 10 girls saying Instagram makes them feel worse about themselves. Read on: 9/… Image
Hear from kids in Pew's 2022 survey: 80% says social media makes them more connected with friends; 71% say it lets them show their creativity; 67% said it provides them with support in tough ties;' 58% feel more accepted. 10/…
WSJ's Family & Tech columnist Julie Jargon said she'll stop writing about kids & screen time because studies show the far bigger factor is family dynamics: low income, low parental education, poor maternal mental health. 11/…
Jargon writes: "Screens aren't cigarettes-they may be addictive but they don't inherently cause harm." She bases her conclusion on this Harvard study in the British Journal of Educational Technology: 12/…
That Harvard study notes that 97% of US kids 0-8 have access to smartphone, which can have positive effect on learning. "The sum of children's home environment characteristics play a larger role in children's language & literacy skills than" experience w/mobile digital media. 13/
A 2021 letter to the Journal of Affective Disorders concludes: "Current speculations about the direct harms of digital technology use on mental health may be unfounded & risk diverting attention from a more likely cause: pandemic-related distress." 14/…
BTW, two studies of the "kids these days effect" find kids' social skills aren't declining & adults give them too little credit. 15/
See also this 🧵by Mekka Okereke pointing out that black kids are online more than white kids but see much less of an increase in depression. Could it be politics? I think so. 16/
Douthat's, uh, analysis of kids' misery is purely political, siding with Haidt, who says liberal girls are the worst off. Douthat blames kids for liberalism, secularization, social & sexual permissiveness, marijuana, oh my. 17/…
My problem is that so much uninformed media #MoralPanic leads to terrible, anti-free-speech legislation like Utah's, now Montana's, and insurrectionist Hawley's effort to take kids away from their friends when they need them most. 18/
.@TaylorLorenz tweet re Douthat: "People are like 'why are kids so depressed it must be their PHONES!' But never mention the fact that we're living in a late stage capitalist hellscape during an ongoing deadly pandemic, 0 social safety climate change cooks the world."/19
So, @JoeNBC, I'm not defending "social media billionnaires." I'm defending our kids, their future, and our freedom of expression from media & political #MoralPanic. That's a book I'm writing, out next year. /21
In the meantime, I have a book out in June: The Gutenberg Parenthesis, about the perspective we can gain from examining our transition into the age of print as we leave it. Novels, even books caused #MoralPanic in their day. I'll send you a copy. 😎 /plug
For anyone following along, here's Joe's tweet to me in response to the one at the start of the thread:

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More from @jeffjarvis

Apr 14
Springer's Döpfner loves to play the contrarian bad boy and bad boys get in trouble....
‘I’m all for climate change’: Axel Springer CEO faces heat over leaked messages…
The taz--Springer's bête noire--is saying 'told ya so' under the headline "the monster we made."
Die „Zeit“ veröffentlicht persönliche Nachrichten von Springer-Chef Mathias Döpfner. Die Empörung ist groß. Zu kurz kommt, wer ihn mächtig gemacht hat.…
Stefan Niggemeier -- @niggi -- is Bild and Springer's most enduring critic and he, too, is saying, 'I told you so."…
Read 4 tweets
Oct 30, 2022
Good God almighty.
And this:
I await the owner of Twitter insisting this his Twitter account was hacked.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 29, 2022
@jswatz I wouldn't be anything other than respectful, John. Musk's purchase was long foretold; not new. And it ain't just social media. Media's failures include its own--Murdoch's bully pulpits--and mainstream media tiptoeing through a democratic disaster.
@jswatz John, let me ask you a question, since you know the landscape so well: Faced with this kind of questioning/criticism of judgment, what's the discussion like inside The Times? The assumption outside is dismissal. I don't know that that's fair. I do know I miss having an ombudsman.
@jswatz Let me be clear: I criticize because I care, because I do expect the best of our most important news outlet, because I want it to be its best. The Times is too important to dismiss. I subscribe, I read, I care.
Read 6 tweets
Oct 29, 2022
I am shocked that the Pelosi story is not the lead of the Times and Post this morning. Are you?
We hold a number of self-referential myths in journalism: that we 'know what a story is,' that we have 'news judgment, that we are 'set the agenda,' that we are 'gatekeepers.' Judge those myths against the news judgment displayed by our top news outlets here. Punctures the myths.
For God's sake, an atmosphere of violent hate by *one* party and its leaders in this country culminated in a brutal attack on the husband of the person third in line to the presidency and that is an also-ran, victim of journalistic ADD already? What kind of news judgment is that?
Read 12 tweets
Oct 27, 2022
Diving into @PubliusorPerish's Misinformation Nation; learning much. First, it's instructive that early newspaper publishers in America disavowed responsibility for truth--for there was no way to authenticate news--until a demand for facts in the 1770s. 1/…
Second, Jordan gives considerable coverage to the importance of the letter--which I cover in my book (learning much from @rachael_scar's Writing to the World)--and its relationship with media and mediation. 2/…
Third, I write about how early newspapers covered foreign over domestic news in part as a matter of safety for publishers. What @PubliusorPerish makes clear is that in early America, there was much *demand* for international news. We were more global than one might think. 3/
Read 4 tweets
Oct 6, 2022
Here is the Big Bang in Chicago news media. The Tribune, its marrow having been sucked dry by wealthy egotists and hedge funds, sits alone inside its crumbling pay fort while the Sun-Times and WBEZ tear down the walls and conquer the market.…
I feel quite sad for the Tribune. I started my career there, at its Chicago Today, the paper that had no tomorrow, then at the Tribune, where I was a kid assistant city editor and where I learned and taught computers (who knew where that would land me?). Since then...
The Tribune's patrician publishers innovated for a time--the paper made a fortune off its AOL stock--but then Sam Zell brought his circus to town, Michael Ferro humiliated the institution under his Tronc flag, now Alden Capital is eating the seed corn. What will it do now?
Read 10 tweets

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