Steve Jobs was the high tech priest of technology, yet a new report says his kids hadn’t yet used the iPad despite the first iPad having already launched, with Jobs saying he and his wife set technology limits on their children.
Although it was widely reported at the time that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates’ children were banned from using iPods and iPhones, did anyone suspect that Steve Jobs hadn’t introduced an iPad to his own children?
The iPad was practically the digital love child of Steve Jobs and uber Apple designer Sir Jony Ive, so for his digital child not to meet his flesh and blood children is clearly a fascinating news item.
The news comes via Nick Bilton’s report in the New York Times, where Mr Bilton explained how he was speaking to Mr Jobs on the phone, when he asked if Jobs’ kids loved the iPad, which was just arriving on store shelves.
Mr Bilton was shocked to hear Mr Jobs says: “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
Bolton explained how he imagined Jobs’ house would be a temple of technology, where walls were giant touch screens and iEverything would be everywhere.
But that wasn’t the case at all, with Mr Bilton saying other tech CEOs had told him similar things, that they “strictly limit” their children’s use of technology.
While I was introduced to technology at a young age, getting my first computer at the age of 4 in 1979, a couple of years before the IBM PC was even launched, I too have wondered just how much technology to expose my future children to.
This is especially after seeing children becoming quite addicted to iDevices, with iPhones and now iPads seeming to be the ultimate child pacifier, so much so that I’ve seen kids scream if the device is taken away from them.
Clearly, the issue is one of balance, just as the video games industry in Australia has preached for years.
Too much time in front of a computer screen is just as bad as too much time spent on any other single activity – moderation as always is the key.
There’s also plenty of outdoors time that needs to accompany a child’s life – sitting cooped up inside isn’t good for kids, either, as any parent knows.
Mr Bilton’s article goes on to quote several other CEOs expressing similar sentiments, while chatting to a parent who was quite happy to ensure their kids had ample screen time – but still not too much.
There was also discussion of children becoming addicted to tech, especially if they were younger than 10 years of age.
So, while there’s danger in anything, even crossing the street if you’re not paying attention, it is fascinating to see tech CEOs really paying attention to the amount of tech time their children get.
For more information, take a look at Bilton’s article, as it’s a great read
– especially if you’re a parent with kids who seem more attached to their various devices than they are to you!