When the Internet takes over your life it can be a serious problem, and even an addiction. Limited information is available to treat this type of addiction and more and more people spend more time online than in real life. Have you tried to pry a cell phone from a 15-year-old’s hands? How will they ever post that selfie on Facebook or check in at Starbucks? Even 8-year-olds are addicted to gaming online and spend more time inside in front of a computer, phone, IPad or TV, than outside playing.
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2 big shareholders want Apple to investigate whether iPhones are bad for children
Shona Ghosh Business Insider
Two major Apple investors are pressuring the firm to investigate just how addictive iPhones are for children and whether frequent use of the device can affect mental health. We first saw the news via The Wall Street Journal.
It’s an unusual case of activist investors pressuring a firm over social responsibility rather than corporate changes.
Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System control about $2 billion, or £1.47 billion, in shares between them.
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.”
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.
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