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Live On Stage
Tuesday April 30 2024, 7pm BST

The Anxious Generation: Jonathan Haidt on How Smartphones Rewired Childhood – and How Play Can Restore Resilience 

Politics &
Economics

Bestselling author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has dedicated his career to speaking truth and wisdom in some of the most challenging spaces – communities polarised by politics and religion and university campuses mired in culture wars. Now he turns his attention to what he sees as a perfect storm of factors that are causing a collapse in mental health among teenagers today. According to the American College Health Association, since 2010 anxiety among American college students has increased by 134%, depression by 106%, bipolar disorder by 57%, and anorexia by 100%.  

On April 30 Haidt comes to the Intelligence Squared stage where in conversation with BBC presenter Sarah Montague he will draw on his new book The Anxious Generation, which has shot to No 1 in the Sunday Times bestsellers. He will argue that the decline of free play in childhood and the rise of smartphone use among adolescents are the twin sources of increased mental distress among teenagers. He will show how, between 2010 and 2015, as teens traded in their flip phones for smartphones packed with social media apps, time online soared. This profound shift took place against a backdrop of diminishing childhood freedom, as parents over-supervised every aspect of their children’s lives offline, depriving them of the face-to-face experiences with their peers which they need to become strong and self-governing adults. In short, childhood got rewired.

Haidt will argue that it isn’t too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Against the backdrop of the growing movement to ban smartphones in schools, he will draw on traditional wisdom and cutting-edge research to offer practical advice to parents, teachers and teenagers,

Join us for an urgent and insightful investigation into the crisis of youth mental health today.

Praise for Jonathan Haidt’s The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness

Jonathan Haidt is a modern-day prophet, disguised as a psychologist … He points the way forward to a brighter, stronger future for us all’ – Susan Cain

‘Compelling, readable, remarkably persuasive‘  – The Daily Telegraph

‘Deals seriously with counter-arguments and gaps in the evidence … all the suggestions sound sensible. Some even sound fun’ – The Economist

‘His data is startling … robust scientific evidence for what we all assume is true … in a book of devastating observations, this one hit home very hard: that these black mirrors of ours are “the most efficient conformity engines ever invented” – Simon Ings, The Spectator

‘If this important book rings enough alarms to make politicians impose a genuine social media ban on children, I believe most parents would be happy and most teenagers happier’ – The Times, Book of the Week

‘Urgent and essential . . . it ought to become a foundational text for the growing movement to keep smartphones out of schools, and young children off social media’ – Sophie McBain, The Guardian

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness
by Jonathan Haidt

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Event Name

The Anxious Generation: Jonathan Haidt on How Smartphones Rewired Childhood – and How Play Can Restore Resilience 



Speaker
  • Jonathan Haidt

    Psychologist and author of The Anxious Generation

Chair
  • Sarah Montague

    BBC journalist and broadcaster


Location
  • Union Chapel
  • Compton Terrace
  • London
  • N1 2UN
Time
  • Tuesday 30 April 2024
  • 7pm to 8:30pm BST



Speakers

Speaker

Jonathan Haidt

Psychologist and author of The Anxious Generation


Social psychologist and the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the author of The Anxious Generation (2024) and The Righteous Mind (2012). He is the co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind (2018). His latest book is The Anxious Generation :How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness,   
Chair

Sarah Montague

BBC journalist and broadcaster


Presenter of the World At One on BBC Radio 4, and HARDtalk on BBC World television. In 2018, she stepped down as one of the main anchors on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme after eighteen years.