Apple’s unbelievably popular iPhone is both one of the most popular, and one of the most annoying gadgets on the market today. Many of us on the fruited plain grow weary of our friends, co-workers, and fellow choir mates whipping out the devices at any opportunity of downtime. Seriously, people even scroll on them in church. No, two of the biggest investors in the company that makes the darn things are asking is this really good for children.
In an open letter to Apple, the two investors used scientific research to argue that lots of children in the US get distracted by their phones in the classroom, that high phone use might be a factor in teen suicide, and that children who use lots of social media may become more depressed.
The letter cited research showing that American teens on average receive their first phone at age 10 and spend more than 4 1/2 hours a day using it, not including texts and calls.
The two investors wrote: “It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally.”
Just a few thoughts regarding the ADULTS in this conversation:
Parents get their kids phones at the age of 10?
Teachers actually allow phone use in the classroom?
Fix those two problems, and the whole need for any sort of study other than the masking effect of bullying, in general, may well go away.
But, no, that’s not what the investors are asking for. No, they want money thrown at the problem.
They called on Apple to:
Create a committee of child-development experts to study the impact of technology on children;
Add more-sophisticated parental controls;
Assign a high-level Apple executive to take responsibility for this whole area.
The two organizations argued that Apple shareholders would see long-term benefits from action in the area.
“We believe that addressing this issue now will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, by creating more choices and options for your customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators, and customers tomorrow,” they wrote.
And everyone could save a whole lot of money if parents and educators acted like adults and told the kids “NO” when they ask for their own iPhone.