Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent

“When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong,” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. “I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.”

“‘So, your kids must love the iPad?’ I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves,” Bilton reports. “‘They haven’t used it,’ he told me. ‘We limit how much technology our kids use at home.'”

“I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow,” Bilton reports. “Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close. Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]


  1. Why should this surprise anyone?

    Steve was a very strong believer that technology was there to make your life better, not take over your life. If it is not making your life better then it is best to have it not there. It’s best to put it away.

  2. Technology is a 24/7 element in the hands of children, who will sit there 24/7 if you don’t tell them that there’s something else to do. School nights are ARE tech free, unless it has to do with homework. I see how my kids behave on the week ends – limits are a must.

    1. I think you are correct. The CEOs that I know are all absorbed with their companies to the exclusion of their families. I’m glad someone is keeping the businesses running but I prefer to focus on my family.

  3. Wow, that is good to hear.

    My sister-in-law has three kids, and it’s all iPad, all day & night. Period. It’s horrifying. We went to Benihana the other night for a birthday, and all three were on their iPads the whole time.

    They won’t even order food, which is rude as hell to outright ignore the waiter, even if you are young (ages 7, 10, 12). Mommy does it for them.

    At one point, two of them had their foreheads on the table, and were playing games with their iPads on their laps… Not eating or even giving a sh!t that their food was ready and getting cold – After the chef cooked it right in front of them.

    1. How pathetic of any parent to allow such antisocial behavior. It does make one wonder what self centered a__holes that we are raising in the current generation. Too many parents treat Apple products as baby sitters rather than as helpful tools that we use for limited times when appropriate. Not a day goes by when I don’t see some idiot in his/her car weaving on the road or sitting at a green light, paying more attention to his iPhone than to the traffic around him. What could Apple do to improve people’s behavior? Surely there is something. With all the sensors in an iPhone, why not enable some wise controls?
      For example, if GPS indicates you’re going over 90 mph, why not have an option to automatically enter airplane mode? or any speed over 45 mph if one wants to be safer in a car? How about more powerful time limits and remote “turn off” switches for parents? The current basic parental controls should be improved and much better advertised so that even idiot parents can save us from inappropriate gadget use in public.

      1. ” if GPS indicates you’re going over 90 mph, why not have an option to automatically enter airplane mode? ”

        Surely much depends on whether you’re the driver or a passenger ? Such a system would first need to be able to work that one out.

  4. The Waze app asks if you are the driver or the passenger before starting. That’s about the only thing I can think of and of course it is optional. Maybe after 45 the ios device goes into airplane mode UNLESS you click a button indicating you are a passenger. No perfect solutions.

  5. that’s why Steve was so much different from others. I still miss him. unfortunately apple seems to go down fall. no more new technology or design. they just collect existed tech to make their way to convince people to sell. I don’t still get iwatch. it’s not necessary to have one. the design doesn’t seem to show me as apple design philosophy. nowadays there are so many smart phones in the market. everything is just full. I am not interested in it anymore. just tired of dealing with slaver device.

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