If we want to realize social media's full promise of massive unprecedented global conversation conducted in real time, we should be teaching our students how to argue both thoughtfully and effectively.
What do we mean by the words "normal" and "abnormal" as they apply to the mental and emotional states and behaviors of human beings? Can those words be sensibly used at all, given their tremendous baggage, their built-in biases and the general confusion they create?
Is it possible that someone may be sad, because their life is not going well, and not necessarily depressed? Is it possible that someone may be superstitious and enjoy routines, and not have OCD? Is it possible that a child may be disinterested in school, and not have ADD?
We are spending tens of billions of dollars plying the worried well with unnecessary and expensive drugs; while at the very same time ignoring the desperate needs of those who really could benefit from psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
These kids are among the most troubled kids we see, and we aren't satisfied with what we've been able to do for them. We need a better way to identify them, as the first step in finding a better way to help them.