Apple boss Tim Cook says he would keep children from using social networks

Predecessor Steve Jobs also voiced concerns about allowing children to use too much technology

Andrew Griffin
Monday 22 January 2018 18:24
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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPhone lineup during a media event at Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 12, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the new iPhone lineup during a media event at Apple's new headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 12, 2017

Tim Cook says wouldn't want his nephew using social networks, and believes that "boundaries" are important when using technology.

The Apple boss's statements are sure to add to growing concern about whether exposure to social networks and some other technology is damaging the health of the children who use them, often from a very early age.

He said that while he doesn't have a child of his own, he does have a nephew who he puts "boundaries" on. And those include not using social networks like Facebook and Snapchat.

"I don't have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on," he told The Guardian. "There are some things that I won't allow. I don't want them on a social network."

The warning is similar to doubts expressed by other tech execs including his predecessor, Steve Jobs. Mr Jobs famously banned his children from overusing even Apple's own products, believing that they could be damaging to children if used in the wrong way.

Otherwise, Mr Cook warned about the danger of believing that technology should be used for everything, and cautioned against some technologists' belief that more computers could solve everything.

"I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]," he said. "I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time. I don’t subscribe to that at all.”

Mr Cook was speaking as part of the announcement that 70 different schools – including the one he was speaking at – would be taking part in Apple's Everyone Can Code initiative to teach programming to children. It also came alongside the company's launch of a new project with Malala to get at least 100,000 underprivileged girls into school.

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