I gots me some kids, folks. Four. Four girls. From pre-school to elementary. All four are whiz-bang geniuses that can navigate any iPhone or iPad game after playing around with it for 18 or 19-seconds. What impact will all those hours being a mindless drone hunched over an expensive little device have on our future generations?
Who knows. I have laundry to do, shopping to do, and need to make space in the hall closet to take a nap.
Would it shock you to know that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids technology free?
The World Health Organization recently advised parents to limit screentime to just one hour a day for children under five. Though one large study found little correlation between screen-time and mental health impacts, other research has found that an eighth-grader’s risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media.
I was a depressed 8th grader, too, but it wasn’t because of my Apple II. It was because all my girlfriends had blossomed and I had not (finally, after child #4, I have to change the size of my booby traps).
What does that have to do with being tech free? Not much. But it was a depressing era, too.
The two biggest tech figures in recent history — Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create.
Hmmm. Sounds ominous, no? But let’s think about it for a moment.
Gates hasn’t been around the technology trend for what? 12 years? That means the only technology he didn’t let his kids use was a Windows PC. Yep. That’s a rule that will keep a child from becoming depressed. Look at all the Windows users who are depressed.
In the past 12 years, Apple launched iPhone and iPad and Watch and AirPods, and, well, you get the idea. Gadgets. Gates’ household was like most households. Zune free.
Steve Jobs’ last three children were born in 1991, 1995, and 1998, respectively, so they would have been about 16, 12, and 10 when iPhone was born.
That’s too young to have your own iPhone. iPad came out three years later. All were teenagers then. Were they prohibited from using an iPad?
I. Doubt. It.
Jobs, who was the CEO of Apple until his death in 2012, revealed in a 2011 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad.
Actually, Jobs died in 2011. iPad was released in 2010. Is it likely those kids got into both iPhone and iPad after Steve died?
Akhtar goes on to relate similar stories from other technology leaders, but the same thing holds true for their kids as it should for us.
Tech-free? Nope. Controlled or managed? Yes. Disciplined? Yes. Just like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others, that’s my approach, too.
I only allow our kids to use the iPad while they’re awake.