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It’s hard to be a successful Maoist radical when you’re an uneducated, depressed blithering idiot. But kudos to today’s clueless little “revolutionaries” because they’re still giving it a go.
As it turns out our youth is suffering from mass depression, especially young liberals. This shouldn’t shock anyone. After all, the mental illness epidemic that’s sweeping through the left is on full display daily via social media. Mental sickness is impacting people of all ages on the left, but kids are the most susceptible.
It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that out of all the depressed and angsty teens, it’s liberal girls who are struggling the most.
Apparently, all that amazing “girl power” is just too much to handle.
But I want to talk about something Goldberg mentions but doesn’t focus on: a 2021 paper by Catherine Gimbrone, Lisa Bates, Seth Prins, and Katherine Keyes titled “The politics of depression: Diverging trends in internalizing symptoms among US adolescents by political beliefs.” The CDC survey doesn’t ask teens about their political beliefs, but Gimbrone et. al. find not only divergence by gender, but divergence by political ideology. Breaking things down by gender and ideology, they find that liberal girls have the highest increase in depressive affect and conservative boys have the least. But liberal boys are more depressed than conservative girls, suggesting an important independent role for political ideology.
But depression isn’t the only issue with today’s young radicals. The lack of education is also reaching rather alarming levels.
Kids as young as 8th and 10th grade have pretty much given up on reading, at all.
Take a look:
Percentage of 8th and 10th graders reading a newspaper or magazine at least once a week, and percentage of kids who read books for pleasure. Both have fallen off a cliff.
Somehow managing to be both lame and stupid. Sad world we’ve created. pic.twitter.com/J9S9cyradV
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) March 1, 2023
So, not only are these pint-sized radicals mentally ill, they’re also ignorant.
So, what is causing this alarming trend among our nation’s youth?
Well, many will say it’s a lack of God, values, morals, and guidance from parents, and they’d be right. But many believe it’s also due to social media.
Earlier this month the CDC released the results of its Youth Risk Behavior Survey of American teenagers. The findings have been much discussed, with the focus largely and understandably on the fact that teenage girls are suffering from extraordinarily high levels of sadness and depression. But I think the conversation has overlooked a few things.
One possible culprit for this widespread sadness is that social media apps are especially damaging to girls’ psychological health, a thesis long championed by Jonathan Haidt. And even though on its face Haidt’s point seems left-wing (new technology has downside risks and big companies need to be regulated more), the idea has taken on a mostly right-wing inflection, with Josh Hawley as its most vocal champion in the Senate.
Senator Josh Hawley recognizes the dangers of TikTok, Snapchat, and other apps, and wants to set an age restriction to access social media.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation Tuesday barring social media companies from offering accounts to children under 16.
The “MATURE Act” would require social media platforms to verify that users are 16 or older by scanning government-issued ID and prohibit social media companies from opening accounts for children under 16. The legislation would allow parents of children under 16 to sue social media platforms for damages if the platform allows their child to open an account.
“Children suffer every day from the effects of social media. At best, Big Tech companies are neglecting our children’s health and monetizing their personal information. At worst, they are complicit in their exploitation and manipulation. It’s time to give parents the weapons they need to strike back,” Hawley said in a press release. “That starts with an age restriction for social media. And it’s long past time for well-funded research on the scale of the problem. We must set the precedent that these companies can no longer take advantage of our children.”
In addition, Hawley is introducing legislation commissioning a report to show the impact social media has on kids 10 years old and up. The study will focus on gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders and attention deficit disorder.
This is a good start from Republicans, but we’ll need more. Educating parents on what’s really happening on social media should be a priority, because kids will find a way to skirt around “age restrictions.”
Clearly, the left is using social media as a weapon to radicalize our nation’s youth, and we must use every tool in our arsenal to try and save them before it’s too late.
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