As we move further and further into the 21st Century, it's becoming all the more obvious that today's kids aren't going to ever know a time when their entire life wasn't on the internet. When things like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram all came out, we remember them as a fun novelty that changed some aspects of our lives. For an entire generation though, these things are a regular part of every day life.
Kids are not only being exposed to things like social media and internet video at a significantly younger age than ever before, but people are now opting to use things like tablets and smartphones to babysit their children instead of TV. Sure, a lot of the apps they use are billed as being educational and beneficial for their children, but how sure are you of that?
Well, apparently there's one group of people that aren't so sure of the impact these things are having on kids, and they just happen to be tied to one of the biggest tech companies in the entire world.
That's right: two major shareholders in Apple (yes, THAT Apple) have demanded that the company take a more serious look at the impact their products are potentially having on younger generations!
Hedge fund Jana Partners and California State Teachers’ Retirement System, both of which are shareholders in Apple, just recently issued the company an open letter, in which they demand that Apple take the potential impact on children that their products are having much more seriously.
After apparently reviewing their own research, the two insisted that the tech giant needs to provide parents with more resources and software to make sure that their children are using their devices "in the optimal manner."
The letter also says arguing that parents bear ultimate responsibility for their kids’ device and social media use ultimately “misses the point,” because parents still need the support of tech companies. To quote the letter:
“It is also no secret that social media sites and applications for which the iPhone and iPad are a primary gateway are usually designed to be as addictive and time-consuming as possible, as many of their original creators have publicly acknowledged. [...] It is both unrealistic and a poor long-term business strategy to ask parents to fight this battle alone.”
They end the letter with a comment of “As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do.”
Apple has yet to respond.