Recently two of the biggest Apple investors sent a letter to the company, warning about the depressing effects the iPhone can have on kids. Bloomberg News writes:
[A]ctivist investor Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System urged Apple to create ways for parents to restrict children’s access to their mobile phones. They also want the company to study the effects of heavy usage on mental health.
“There is a growing body of evidence that, for at least some of the most frequent young users, this may be having unintentional negative consequences,” according to the letter from the investors, who combined own about $2 billion in Apple shares.
While it's hard to disagree that phones are addicting and can make anyone feel a little blue when comparing themselves to everyone else's highlights reel (the great hair day, the fab party you weren't at), The Economist says to stop the hand wringing -- or maybe the new term should be "phone wringing." (You're welcome.)
Parents who worry about their teenage offspring (which is to say, all parents) can do something, however. Prod them out of the house, and worry a bit less about what they get up to. There is plenty of evidence for the cheering effects of hanging out with friends. Yet youngsters are doing less of this. Over-protective parents are probably one reason.
Agreed: A body on iPhone tends to remain on iPhone. But a kid outside with friends tends to be in the moment, playing, walking, talking. So:
Parents: Allow your kids to go out and meet their friends (or simply wander) IRL.
Towns: Do not assume kids roaming around are either neglected or hooligans.
Schools: Help parents to let go by having kids do the Let Grow Project.
And by the way, a video of that is coming soon! (Yay! Another reason to look at your phone!). - L.