Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagGen Z

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Augmented Reality Bookshelf on Smartphone

Ban the Phones and Bring Back the Books

It's time for the book, a time-tested vehicle of delight and instruction, to make a comeback in the classroom

This summer, several states have proposed banning smartphones in public schools or introducing programs that will limit kids’ phone use during school hours. So far New York, Indiana, Ohio, California, and Oklahoma have proposed bans or restrictions, showing rare bipartisan concern over the issue. The impetus for this movement came in May when Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a letter to every fellow governor in the United States with a complimentary copy of The Anxious Generation, a new book by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Haidt shows how starting in the early 2010s kids’ mental health steeply declined. The main culprit? The smartphone, which soon became an ensnaring substitute for “real life.” Gen Z, those born after 1995, were the first Read More ›

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Young beautiful caucasian purple grey hair woman outdoor in the city on the subway using smart phone hand hold - technology, social network, communication concept

Ozempic: Weight Loss Drug or Supermodel Shortcut?

Social media fuels impossible body standards. So, Gen Z flocks to weight loss drugs.

Ozempic, the weight loss medication that diminishes one’s sense of hunger, has been used as a simple and yet effective treatment for obesity. There is debate on whether the use of drugs to combat weight gain is healthy, or should be pushed back against by simply eating better and engaging in regular exercise. Now, though, a certain brand of Ozempic users is complicating the discussion. People, particularly the young, are starting to use Ozempic to carve out the ideal beach bod. But the risks to this aren’t benign, according to a report by the New York Post. Using Ozempic or other weight loss drugs without a proper prescription can be dangerous. Per the Post: “Drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy should Read More ›

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Cell phone addiction concept. Many teens hold smart device. Social media like obsession. Online communication problem. People watch mobile gadget screen. Art illustration. Cyberspace internet network.

Haidt on AI: Social Media Companies Use It to Hook the Vulnerable

The famous American social psychologist and professor at New York University, Jonathan Haidt, thinks phones have essentially ruined a generation
His new book The Anxious Generation dives into the data that shows it. Adolescent mental health took a nosedive in the early 2010s: Smartphone world. Read More ›
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Arkansas (USA) flag waving on the wind

Governor Huckabee Sanders Against Big Tech

Governor takes action based on Jonathan Haidt's research
It's a strong sign that political figures are starting to realize the negative effects of social media on young people. Read More ›
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Child watching cellphone screen at night. Blue light from smartphone device glowing on little girl face

Helpful Video Maps Out Gen Z Mental Health Crisis

The glow of the screen is swallowing a generation, and it needs to stop

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s new book The Anxious Generation topped the New York Times bestsellers’ chart two weeks in a row, and has been stirring up a lot of commentary in the meantime. Haidt’s basic thesis is that we have drastically overprotected children in the real world and woefully under-protected them in the virtual world. A new video helpfully lines out this argument, and shows why today’s generation, more than the Millennials who preceded them, struggle so intensely with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In a recent interview, author and public intellectual Andy Crouch said that while he doesn’t know if it can be backed up neurologically, there is something about the “glow” of screens that wakens something primordial in the Read More ›

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The little kid is sitting alone on the sofa and looking in his phone

Moving Life Online is Making Us Depressed

The phone-based childhood robs kids developmentally, says Jonathan Haidt
The data seems to point essentially to one thing: the shift to living our lives online. Read More ›
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Psychotherapist writing notes, giving diagnosis to emotional man

Too Much Focus on Mental Health?

Is our fixation on wellbeing making us miserable?

“We have to deal with the cancer that is mental health.” So tweeted former presidential nominee Nikki Haley back in January. Most people knew what she meant, which was that we have to take mental health seriously and do our best to foster positive mental health. From the way she phrased it, though, you’re tempted to think that “mental health” itself is, well, what she said it is: a “cancer.” The emphasis on mental health and therapy is widespread. In many ways, it is good and proper to encourage people to be more open about their mental struggles and to get help for what they’re going through. The amount of trauma, abuse, and other mental disorders that people hide is Read More ›

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Closed up image of a Female using TikTok application on a smartphone in home. 5 September, 2022. ChiangMai, Thailand.

Escaping the Dopamine Cartel

We can't even be bothered with "entertainment" anymore.
Ted Gioia investigates the impact of the "dopamine culture," our modern tendency to flit among tabs and scroll endlessly through fifteen-second-long video clips. Read More ›
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Hands of a male photographer holding a digital camera taking pictures of a idyllic landscape with a lake and mountains while the picture shows at the display

Two Notable Reads: Children and Tech and the Illusions of Photography

How much should kids be online? And is taking pictures taking us out of real life?
Teenagers' mental health has been on the decline over the last decade, particularly among teen girls. Idealized images can be fodder for the social comparison game. Read More ›
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Video call. Online zoom conference. Business team gathered for an online meeting in zoom app. On a computer monitor a group of people online

COVID-19: Technology Trends That Are Sneaking Up on Us Faster Now

Most of these changes, for better or worse, are probably here to stay

We knew big changes were coming. And that COVID-19 has ramped them up. But when experts expound grand generalities and wave their hands a lot, it can be hard to clearly see what a change means where we live and work. One writing teacher, for example, learned how to massively adapt all of a sudden: Each spring, I teach Writing about Oneself, a class on first-person reading and writing, to 12 Yale undergraduates chosen from 100 or so… Every year I fill out the registrar’s Pedagogical Needs Request Form, leaving 14 of the 15 “Technological Needs” boxes unchecked. (No, I don’t need a SMART board. No, I don’t need a digital projector. No, I don’t need a Blu-ray player.) The Read More ›

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People on railway station and man in face mask using on phone while epidemic and covid19. Coronavirus and travel and public transport.

Top Consumer Trends COVID-19 Will Change Long Term

Data from 40 countries suggests that, post-COVID, people will continue to stick close to home

According to analysts, robotic devices are becoming more popular for a reason few would have guessed earlier; they reduce the need for physical human contact. Recycling, however, has taken a hit and weaning consumers from disposables post-COVID may prove a challenge. Huge firms are riding the storm, however, and Gen Z is spending the lockdown improving its career chances. Meanwhile, consumers surveyed around the globe say they plan to travel less.

Read More ›