Children born in the last decade or so have had a level of access to technology that has never been seen before. While this allows them access to a great deal of information and educational material, there are many who believe this constant access to phones to be damaging to the development of young children.
Two investment groups, which hold billions in Apple stocks, are particularily concerned. They have called for Apple to introduce more parental control to their phones, which would allow parents to limit the time their children spend on cell phones and restrict the content they are able to access.
The investment groups claimed that, because of the constant access to phones, children are becoming addicted to social media. When examining social apps such as Instagram, it is easy to see why constant scrolling can be problematic for impressionable kids; they are being constantly presented with a barrage of snapshots of people’s best moments.
It is easy to feel as though one’s own social life is pale in comparison; something hard enough for adults to have to deal with, let alone young children.
Another potential issue with constant access to phones is that it may be resulting in shorter attention spans. This hypothesis is backed up by a number of parents who report that their children would be unable to give up their phones. Even after looking around outside it becomes clear that children are increasingly dependent on their mobile devices.
The letter from the investors was backed up by several cited scientific articles and mentioned that lack of limitations on the amount of time spent on their phones could potentially result in children performing poorly in school. Poor attention span could also be linked to children’s irregular sleeping patters caused by excessive use of their phones.
The investment groups are also concerned that children are too readily able to access disturbing content, and are urging Apple to give parents the ability to block the use of certain apps.
Despite the many positive uses of the internet, there is also a plethora of disturbing content and much of it manages to sneak into seemingly child-friendly apps such as YouTube Kids, which has come under fire recently for failing to prevent inappropriate content from slipping through the cracks. As a result, children are being exposed to a large amount of content that would be otherwise unavailable to them without the use of their devices.
There is, perhaps, a case to be made that the responsibility of keeping children from spending too much time on their phones, responsibly using social media, and being exposed to inappropriate content rests on the shoulder of the parents rather than Apple.
While this is a valid argument and parents definitely should be held accountable to what their children are able to access online, considering the minefield that we call the internet it does seem that Apple should take more care.
These investment groups have raised valid concerns about Apple’s approach to available content.
Ultimately, with the amount of stock these investors have in Apple, combined with the public and professional support for their letter, it seems likely Apple will be forced to address these claims and place more parental control settings on their phones.
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