Smartphones and other electronic devices have become a main staple in our lives. Many of us spend our days with them attached to our hands, or within arms reach. But what sort of message is that sending to our kids?
It is well documented that device use can be damaging to our health. It is very telling that technology moguls like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their children technology free. So let’s take a look at their decision and why they made it.
What’s Wrong With Smartphones For Kids?
Psychologists are promoting their findings that smartphones can be dangerous for teenage brains. The risk of developing depression can increase by more than 25% with the regular use of social media. And with a smartphone, social media is constantly at their fingertips.
Smartphones are also being held responsible for the increase in teen suicide rates. If a teen uses their phone for more than 3 hours a day, then they are at a greater risk for suicide.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now though. Technology moguls like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs prevented their children from using the very devices they created due to their addictive nature.
Bill and Steve’s Story
Bill Gates became very aware of technology risks when his daughter showed addiction tendencies towards a video game. In 2007 he announced that he had put a screen time cap for his children. He also didn’t allow them to have their own phone until they turned 14. Compared to today that is very late because the average age children now get their own phone is 10.
Steve Jobs revealed in a 2011 interview that he had prohibited his kids from using the newly released iPhone. He also mentioned that he limited the amount of technology they were allowed to use at home.
It seems they both recognised more than ever that technology was overly addictive. That is ironic seeing as it is how they both made their fortunes.
Technology In Our Schools
Now that Bill and Steve’s kids are grown up, we will never know for sure what they would have thought of the technology programme in our schools. It is interesting to think whether they would have allowed their children to participate or not. It is safe to say that children today use technology far more than what Bill or Steve’s kids were allowed to use at home.
While technology does have its educational benefits and allows our children to learn skills that they would not have been able to beforehand, it is still a dangerous learning medium. Tailored educational plans are a positive part of schooling as children get to learn at their own pace and in a way that they can comprehend. But they do miss out on vital basic skills like practising writing and handling physical books.
It is important that the technology is used as specifically as possible for learning purposes to remove some of the risks for addiction. As long as we are mindful of the risks, we can work to minimise them and to monitor screen time in our children.