A roundup of news and commentary from around the interwebs.
The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that social media is destroying the mental health of young people. As Samuel James observes, this advice comes a decade late:
The surgeon general’s report has instead just arrived, and what’s remarkable about it is just how unremarkable it is. Its observations of correlation between digital addiction and depression come across not as a landmark but as painfully obvious. Its warnings about the pseudo-community of social media come years after the first crop of books and studies strongly suggested that uber-connected youth were dangerously isolated and insecure. In short, there is hardly anything in the report that sheds real light on the adolescent mental health crisis. Like a professional sports league admitting a blown call the day after the big game, the federal government merely acknowledged what just about everyone else seemed to figure out a while ago…
But is it too little, too late? Perhaps. We are now 15 years removed from the debut of the iPhone and nearly 20 years removed from that fateful day in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm. In that span of time, the emotional health of an entire generation of Americans has bottomed out, misinformation and polarization have routed reasonableness, sexting and revenge porn are now rites of passage, and a gender dysphoria contagion has taken hold of many communities. All of these trends have been featured in major media outlets. All of them are traceable, at least in part, to the technological revolutions of the early and mid-2000s.
Read the whole thing.
Can something smart and worth reading be written about a profoundly stupid movie? As is it turns out, yes. Mary Harrington on the new Barbie movie: “Barbie’s Beauty Standards.”
A heartbreaking reflection from a Christian mother whose daughter has been sucked into the transgender cult:
Today my daughter’s diploma from her university arrived. It was addressed to a person I don’t know and the name on the diploma was the same. Where is the diploma for the girl I knew? The one who loved nature and butterflies and kittens and puppies and every living thing? The girl who loved to dress up and get her nails done? The girl who cheered under the lights on Friday nights? The girl who loved Jesus and prayed for her friends? Where did we go wrong? What signs did we miss? I don’t even recognize her anymore. Her face is the same, but she doesn’t speak or act like the girl I knew. When I dream of her it’s always of the old girl. My mind refuses to accept this strange creature before me.
Read the whole thing.
Here’s another, this one from Quillette: “A State of Parental Dysphoria.” An excerpt:
Parental dysphoria involves the extended state of having to stay silent about something that you know will lead to tragedy, because you don’t want to lose your child, your friends, your extended family, and your marriage—everything you’ve worked to build. You do this to preserve some small chance of having an impact, to keep your child close enough to eventually help them find their way out of this delusion. It’s living with fear—fear of loss, fear of estrangement, fear of losing your own mind, fear of losing your integrity by denying your own instincts. Those who suffer from this condition, myself included, know this to be the most awful feeling you’ve ever experienced in your life.
If you suffer from parental dysphoria, you wish to say, “You were not ‘born in the wrong body’—that’s impossible.” But you also know your child wants so badly to believe this that you aren’t sure whether to lie or tell the truth about how you see things. So, instead, you say very little and pray every day that your child will find peace in their own body before it is too late, before your child denies and destroys their own sexual function and fertility, and poisons their body with synthetic hormones.
Read the whole thing. The author—who is predictably anonymous—is encapsulating a nightmare that has become common across North America.