If you were born before the millennium, your childhood is likely technology-free and certainly without audio games like Angry Birds and having Mickey showing you the body parts through the screen. Now, it's the new normal to see young toddlers having their meals served together with iPads, preteens walking around with iPods plugged to their ears, and kids up to date with the latest apps. Whether you have children yet or not, you've undoubtedly considered if you'd raise them with the latest gadgets or with a more hands-on, tech-free approach.
Steve Jobs didn't expose his children to much technology, and he did not recommend it to other parents. When New York Times reporter Nick Bilton talked with Jobs in 2010, he asked, "So, your kids must love the iPad," expecting an "of course." Jobs, a father of four, replied, "They haven't used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home." Bilton imagined Jobs's household to be filled with the latest Apple products, tech-savvy children, and touch screens galore. The reality was not even close.
Jobs shared his mentality with many other tech executives, like Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now chief executive of drone maker 3D Robotics. "My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules," he said of his five children, ages 6 to 17. "That's because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I've seen it in myself, I don't want to see that happen to my kids."
According to a research study done by Common Sense Media, comparing children's technology use in 2013 to 2011, 72% of children age 8 and under have used a mobile device for some type of media activity such as playing games, watching videos, or using apps, up from 38% in 2011. Furthermore, 38% of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device for media (compared to 10% two years prior).
The ongoing conversation raises questions about whether toddlers should really be exposed to close-up screens so early on and whether teens are spending too much time on the Internet, especially with the increase of cyberbullying.
What's your take?
Cullum, E. (2015, April 2). Why Steve Jobs Didn't Let His Kids Use iPads. Retrieved April 9, 2015.