Apple responds after investors express worries kids are addicted to its devices


"This is an opportunity for Apple to play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the needs of the next generation of consumers is both good for business and the right thing to do".

In the letter, the shareholders noted that Apple had been setting precedents in the innovation of smartphone technology, and this time, they are hoping that the iPhone maker would once again set the bar in terms of "setting an example about the obligations of technology companies to their youngest customers".

In an open letter to Apple, the shareholders (who collectively own $2B of Apple shares) listed numerous studies linking cell phone obsession to feelings of addiction (particularly among teens) and criticized Apple for lacking the necessary mechanisms on their devices to help curb overuse.

Addressing this issue now would enhance the value of Apple in the long-term for all shareholders, the two large shareholders contend. One junior high teacher noted that, "I see youth who used to go outside at lunch break and engage in physical activity and socialization". Especially 8th grade students are the most heavily into social media devices and they require the utmost care with this potentially addictive technology.

Professor Twenge's research shows that USA teenagers who spend 3 hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely, and those who spend 5 hours or more are 71% more likely, to have a risk factor for suicide than those who spend less than 1 hour.

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"What's the risk of doing nothing?"

An increased risk factor for suicide.

"What makes screen time unhealthy is less about the amount of time that kids spend in front of screens and more about what their screen-time use is getting in the way of", Lopes told Live Science in an email.

The excessive use of smartphones was also linked to children's exposure to sleep deprivation.

A study by UCLA researchers showed that after 5 days at a device-free outdoor camp, children performed far better on tests for empathy than a control group. Along with asking Apple to develop software to let parents limit phone use, they also requested that the company carry out a study investigating the impact of smartphone overuse on mental health.

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"We take this responsibility very seriously...


In her statement, Sheehan summed up the demands of the letter.

Give parents more ways to restrict children's access to their smartphones.

Half of teenagers in the US feel like they are addicted to their mobile phones and report feeling pressure to immediately respond to phone messages, according to a 2016 survey of children and their parents by Common Sense Media.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech.

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