Investors ask Apple to help curb iPhone addiction in children

(NBC News file photo)
Published:
Updated:

(WTHR) — Two Apple investors are urging the tech giant to help limit how addictive the iPhone is to children.

In a letter to Apple, Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System say they believe Apple should offer parents tools to "ensure that young consumers are using your products in an optimal manner."

The letter points out the evidence of negative consequences of frequent use of Apple's devices on young people. Some of those consequences include emotional challenges, increased suicide risks, sleep deprivation and increased risk of depression.

The billion-dollar investors also argue that pioneering this effort will be beneficial for shareholders long-term by setting an example of the obligation tech companies have to protecting younger generations.

According to NBC News, more and more tech innovators are speaking out against the dangers of children frequently using social media.

Sean Parker, Facebook's founding president told Axios, "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains." Parker also noted he's not sure he understood the real effect of having a social network that could reach billions of people.

"It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other ... It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways."

Similarly, a former Facebook vice president for user growth told The Guardian he feels "tremendous guilt" his role in helping create "tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works."

Even Steve Jobs, before his 2011 death, said he limited his children's iPad use at home.

The investors' letter suggests Apple form an expert committee, conduct research, provide tools and education for parents, and monitor ongoing issues.

Apple has not publicly responded to the letter.

Filed under: