How bad are smartphones for our kids, really?

(Photo by Aaron Burden/Unsplash)

Do your young kids have a smartphone? Most do. And parents have been witnessing the repercussions firsthand for years. This week, the subject came to the forefront when Jonathan Haidt, a Jewish writer, penned a piece in The Atlantic warning of the “terrible costs” of raising children with phones. A new mental health crisis, higher suicide rates, ever-more screen time: much of the ailments of modern youth can be attributed to smartphone use. Jewish kids are no exception, as this week’s guest, Rabbi Eric Grossman, knows well; he is the head of the Akiva School in Montreal and agrees with much of Haidt’s thesis.

Before that, we’re joined by Ronit Novak, art director for The CJN, to discuss the ethics of a gruesome photograph of the corpse of Shani Louk, who was murdered on Oct. 7, winning a prestigious photography award. As you’ll hear, even Shani’s family and friends are split on whether the now-infamous image is a good thing or not.

What we talked about


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast, donating to The CJN and subscribing to the podcast’s Substack.