Jerry Seinfeld and wife give son a flip phone for high school graduation

Shepherd Seinfeld, the youngest of three, is now a high school graduate.

June 12, 2024, 1:20 PM

Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld are celebrating their youngest son's graduation from high school, and in honor of the occasion, they gave him an intentional gift—a flip cell phone.

"Our youngest son Shepherd graduated from high school yesterday. As I posted earlier in my stories, we gave him a flip phone for graduation in hopes he will turn in his smartphone," Jessica Seinfeld began in an Instagram post Tuesday. "Many of you have asked if this is his first phone - I wish! If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve waited until age 14 to give him a smartphone (he got handed down an old one at age 12, for the bus ride to school in the Bronx)."

Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld supported their youngest son Shepherd, who graduated from high school.
Jessica Seinfeld/Instagram

Jessica Seinfeld, who shares three children with her comedian and actor husband, wrote that she hopes the flip phone gift will encourage Shepherd to give up his smartphone for the basic cell phone option.

The mom of three has often posted on social media about encouraging a smartphone-free environment for kids. Among her posts is a video from social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt, who wrote “The Anxious Generation,” which discusses teens' use of smartphones and social media and their impact on kids' mental health.

For his high school graduation gift, Shepherd Seinfeld received a flip cell phone from his parents.
Jessica Seinfeld/Instagram

Haidt told "Good Morning America" in March that he hopes "The Anxious Generation" will encourage parents to promote a smartphone-free lifestyle for children, preteens and teens and have them go outside and interact with others in person instead of through a screen, in light of the rise of mental illness in teenagers, which correlates to a rise in smartphone use among the demographic.

"It was when we gave kids smartphones and then right around that time, they also got ... social media accounts. When kids move their social lives onto social media like that, it's not human. It doesn't help them develop. And right away, mental health collapses," Haidt said at the time.

"Kids need play and independence if they're going to become healthy, happy, and independent adults," Haidt added.

Last May, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy also issued an advisory regarding the impact of social media use on youth mental health and encouraged parents to make plans to create tech-free zones in the home and foster in-person relationships.