Tech Giants aren’t necessarily better parents

Who cares that Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids play with iPads?[1] Or that Evan Williams makes his children read “books (yes, physical ones)” instead of letting them play with iPads? On the one hand, these parents are not child-rearing experts. They, like most of us, draw on unscientific, anecdotal, personal experience as they fumble along trying not to cause too much harm.[2] On the other hand, their more moderate policies are banal: set basic limits on what and how long your child can play on a device. And pace Ali Partovi, parents should probably apply this guideline to everything their children might want to do compulsively.

  1. We might pause to enjoy the irony here: Steve Jobs’ reportedly denied his children access to the device that he celebrated as having such wonderful potential for children of all ages.  ↩
  2. Dick Costolo’s goofy story about some guy in college who went on a Coca-Cola binge (and the old chestnut about what happens when you don’t expose children to [fill in your favorite thing here]) illustrates nicely the unscientific approach these “tech parents” bring to rearing their children.  ↩