Frank Thoms

The Anxious Generation

Haidt makes no claim to abolish phones. He advocates having children delay in their smartphone use. He focuses on the four foundational harms: Social Deprivation, Sleep Deprivation, Attention Fragmentation, and Addiction. At the end of the book to resolve these harms, he suggests two approaches people can take up.

First for people to “speak up.” It will take a village speaking up about this crisis to respond to it. When people do, they will find others having similar concerns. And speaking up lets others having similar thoughts to take action. His second is for people to “link up.” When parents speak up they discover others having the same concerns. When they speak to teachers and principals they find that they, too, hate phones and are fed up, but they need support to make change.

Once a critical mass is reached, schools can implement a true no-phones and no-tech devices in the classroom policy. Teachers and students will then have interactive, participant learning without students focusing on the what awaits them on their phones. Essential!