What do you picture when you think of Steve Jobs' household at dinnertime? Would you believe that iPads and iPhones and all other Mac products were banned from the table?
In an interview with the The New York Times this week, Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs, said that the legendary CEO "made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things” and added that “no one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices.”
In fact, back when Apple's first tablet made its debut, Steve Jobs said that his children didn't even use it.
The article also revealed that Steve Jobs was indeed a low-tech parent. And it turns out that many other leaders of technology firms strictly limit the amount of time their children can spend in front of a screen.
Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired and now chief executive of 3D Robotics, a drone maker, has instituted time limits and parental controls on every device in his home. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” he said of his five children, 6 to 17. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”
Many of us know firsthand the dangers of becoming obsessed with (and even addicted to) our smart phones and other electronic gadgets. But for children, it becomes more troublesome when cyber bullying is on the rise and Internet pornography is so readily accessible.
So while it may seem like a quick fix for a parent to pacify an attention-craving child by placing an iPad in their hands, the amount of time they spend in front of the screen can rapidly develop addictive behavior.
So how do moms and dads set a healthy boundary for their children and electronic devices?
This piece has some tips to help manage screen time for you and your family.
If all else fails, try a device-free day.
And if you're concerned that your relationship with technology has gotten unhealthy, this may help: