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Apple Shareholders Call on Board to Study Screen Time Impacts on Kids

13 January 2018

As smartphone technologies advance and users find more and more ways to connect, children's use of the internet and mobile technologies become more of a concern. "As a company that prides itself on values like inclusiveness, quality education, environmental protection, and supplier responsibility, Apple would also once again be showcasing the innovative spirit that made you the most valuable public company in the world".

The open letter was written by Jana Partners LLC and The California State Teachers' Retirement System, the two of which collectively account for around $2 billion in value of Apple shares. The managing partner of Jana, Barry Rosenstein, told the Times: "As more and more founders of the biggest tech companies are acknowledging today, the days of just throwing technology out there and washing your hands of the potential impact are over".

"Apple has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online", a spokeswoman said in a statement. Therefore, the two groups requested the company conduct research themselves the effects of heavy use on youth mental health.

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The letter cites several key studies that link inappropriate or prolonged smartphone use to multiple adverse effects on children and teens.

Children's distraction in the classroom has increased while their ability to focus on educational tasks has decreased.

Consumers shouldn't count on Apple redesigning its phones and tablets to make them less addictive for kids, say experts, who caution that good parenting may be the only solution to keep children from staring too long at screens.

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There has been much discussion lately on the topic of technology's impact on children, from social media sites such as Instagram affecting self-esteem to the recent revelations about inappropriate content geared towards children available to view on YouTube's massive platform. We hope that they rise to the challenge!

Facebook's founding president, Sean Parker, also warned recently that the company exploits a "vulnerability in human psychology" to addict its users.

Newer reports nevertheless point out that Apple has finally responded to the investors' demand for iPhone Addiction in Kids.

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Dr. Michael Rich, founder and director of Harvard University's Center on Media and Child Health, partnered with the investors to help them craft their call to action.

Apple Shareholders Call on Board to Study Screen Time Impacts on Kids