Bill Gates is surprisingly strict about his kids’ tech use — and it should be a red flag for the rest of us
By Chris Weller for The Business Insider
For all his success in designing world-changing technology, Bill Gates has set surprisingly strict rules for how his kids can use that technology, the billionaire philanthropist has said in multiple interviews.
“You’re always looking at how it can be used in a great way — homework and staying in touch with friends — and also where it has gotten to excess,” Gates told the Mirror in April 2017.
Each of Gates’ three kids — ages 15, 18, and 21 — has grown up in a home that forbade cell phones until age 14, banned cell-phone use at the dinner table, and set limits on how close to bedtime kids could use their phones.
Gates told the Mirror his kids routinely complained that other kids were getting phones much earlier, but the pleas did nothing to change the policy. In a separate interview with Matt Lauer, then at the Today Show, Gates said he doesn’t go as far as keeping the passwords to his kids’ Facebook accounts, but that online safety is “a very tricky issue for parents now.”
Smartphone overuse — or “addiction,” according to some psychology experts — is becoming a growing concern for parents, academics, and even workers in Silicon Valley. Gates has some company in his old-school approaches to smartphone regulation: Steve Jobs, the famed Apple CEO and inventor of the iPad in 2011, didn’t let his kids use the product at home.
“We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told New York Times reporter Nick Bilton shortly after the iPad’s release.
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