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Apple investors are sounding the alarm

Инвесторы Apple бьют тревогу

This has not happened. Large investors, Apple has raised the question about the influence of gadgets on children. They published an interesting letter containing the results of years of research and observations. Look what they offer:

JANA Partners LLC and the pension system for teachers of California, who collectively own shares of Apple Inc. at a cost of $ 2 billion. As shareholders, we recognize your unique role in the history of innovation and the fact that Apple is one of the most valuable brands in the world. In partnership with experts, including Dr. Michael rich, a founding Director of the Center on medicine and child health at Boston children’s hospital / Harvard medical school and associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard medical school, and Professor Jean M. White, a psychologist from San Diego University and author of iGen, we reviewed the evidence and we believe that Apple strongly offers parents more options and tools to help them ensure that young consumers have used your products in an optimal way. By doing so, we believe that Apple would again play a pioneering role, this time presenting an example of its obligations to technology companies for their youngest customers. As a company that prides itself on values such as inclusiveness, quality education, protection of the environment and supplier responsibility, Apple will once again demonstrate the innovative spirit that has made you the most valuable public company in the world. In fact, we believe that the solution to this problem at present, will increase long-term value for all shareholders.

After more than 10 years after the release of the iPhone, it’s a cliché to point to the ubiquity of Apple devices among children and adolescents, and the concomitant rise in use of social networks by this group. What is less known is that a growing number of evidence that, at least for some of the most frequent young users, this can have unintended negative consequences:

A recent study conducted by the Center for medicine and the health of children and the University of Alberta, showed that 67% of respondents, more than 2,300 teachers noted that the number of students who are negatively distracted by digital technology in the classroom is growing, and 75% say that the students “ability to focus on the educational task decreased. In the last 3-5 years since then, as personal technology entered the classroom, 90% said that the number of students with emotional problems has increased, and 86% said that the number of social problems increased. One associate teacher said that “I see young people who previously went for lunch and were engaged in physical activity and socialization. Today, many of our students sit through lunch and play on their personal devices.”

Research Professor Tweng shows that American teenagers who spend 3 hours a day or more on electronic devices, 35% more likely and those who spend 5 hours or more, 71% more likely to have a risk factor for suicide than those who spend less than 1 hour.

This study also shows that 8 th grade that are heavy users of social networks have the risk of depression by 27%, while those who exceed the average time of sports, hanging out with friends in person or doing homework, have a much lower risk to Experience depression during adolescence significantly increases the risk to become depressed again later in life.

In addition, adolescents who spend 5 or more hours a day (vs. less than 1) electronic devices 51% more likely to get less than 7 hours of sleep (against 9 recommended). Sleep deprivation associated with long-term problems such as weight gain and high blood pressure.

The study, conducted by researchers in Los Angeles, showed that after 5 days in open camp without their kids much better spent on empathy tests than the control group.

According to a survey by the American psychological Association (APA), which involved more than 3,500 American parents, 58% of respondents said they worried about the impact of social networks on physical and mental health of their child, 48% say that the regulation of screen time your child is a “constant battle,” And 58% believe that their child is” tied “to your phone or tablet.

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Some may argue that the study is not definitive that other factors are also operating, and that in any case the parents must assume primary responsibility for their children. These statements are undoubtedly true, but they are also missing the point. The average American teenager who uses a smartphone gets their first phone at the age of 10 years and spends more than 4.5 hours a day on it ( except for texting and talking). 78% of Teens check their phones at least once per hour, and 50% report that they are “addicted” to their phones. It would be to deny common sense to argue that this level of use by children, whose brains are still developing, does not have, at least, any influence or that the Creator of such a powerful product plays no role in helping parents to ensure that it is optimally used. It is also no secret that websites and social networking applications, which iPhone and iPad are the default gateway, typically designed as a more exciting and challenging because many of their original authors publicly recognized. According to the APA survey, cited above, 94% of parents had taken some actions to control technology use of their children, but this is unrealistic and a poor long-term business strategy is to ask parents to fight this battle. Imagine the goodwill that Apple can generate with parents, working with them in these efforts and with the next generation of customers, offering their parents more opportunities to protect their health and well-being.

To be clear, we are not advocating all or nothing. While expert opinions differ on this question, there appears to be consensus that the goal of parents should provide the optimum for respecialization and the type of access, especially given the educational benefits, which can offer mobile device. For example, it held a Professor Professor Twenge study revealed peak levels of mental health among adolescents who use the device in 1 hour or less a day, while teenagers participate in this limited use, more happy than Teens who do not use the device. According to a study of more than 10,000 North American parents conducted by researcher Alexandra Samuel, children of parents who focused primarily on the refusal of access to the screen, are more likely to engage in problematic online behavior than the children of parents who take an active part in the management of their use of technology. Similarly, researchers from the Center for media studies, technology and health, University of Pittsburgh found that when using a large number of social media platforms daily, is connected with depression and anxiety in young people, the use of a limited number has the same influence.

Although these studies (and common sense) suggest a balanced approach, we note that the current limited set of parental controls Apple actually dictates a more binary, all-or-nothing approach with the parent options, basically limiting the closing or providing access to various tools and functions. Although there are apps that offer more options, there is a dizzying array of them (which often leads people not to make a choice), it was unclear which studies were in their development, few offer a full range of options that the study will offer, and they clearly cannot substitute for the Apple, making these elections front and center for parents. Because Apple understands better than any company, technology is best when it is intuitive and easy to use. More important, technology will continue to evolve over time and play an increasingly important role in all our lives. Worldwide develops consensus, including Silicon valley, that potential long-term consequences of new technologies should be taken into account at the outset, and no company may transfer this responsibility to the application developer or, more precisely, hundreds of application developers , none of whom has critical mass.

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This is a complex issue, and we hope this is the beginning of a constructive and well-informed dialogue, but we believe that there is a clear initial steps that Apple can perform, including:

The Committee of experts: the convening of the Committee of experts, including specialists in child development (we would recommend Dr rich and Professor Wenge) to help study this issue and to monitor the ongoing changes in technology, including how such events are integrated into the lives of children and adolescents.

Research: the partnership with these and other experts and sharing your vast information resources to facilitate further research.

New tools and settings: based on the best available research, improving the software of the mobile devices to parents (if they wished) could make changes to their child or young person is not granted the same phone, and that 40-year-old, as well as most products become safer for young users. For example, the initial setting menu can be expanded, so that, as users select the language and time zone, the parent can enter the age of the user and to the specified age settings based on the best available research, including limiting screen time, limit use to certain hours, reducing the available number of social networking sites, setting up parental controls and many other options.

Education. Explaining to your parents why Apple offers more options and research, they came to help parents make more informed decisions.

Reporting: the hiring or appointment of the head of high level to monitor this issue and the preparation of annual reports on the work done, just like Apple does for issues related to the environment and supply chains.

It is true that the level of customer satisfaction Apple remains incredibly high, which is not surprising considering the quality of his products. However, increasing social concern about the fact that, at least, some people get too much good when it comes to technology, which at some point might even lead to Apple, given the problems described above. In fact, even the original designers of the user interface of the iPhone and the current Apple design chief publicly worried about the possibility of using iPhone, and there are strong reasons why you must not settle this issue in a proactive manner. Being one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology, Apple can play a crucial role in the signal transmission industry, focusing on the health and development of the next generation is good business and the right job. This is not a threat to Apple, given that it’s a software issue (not hardware) and that, unlike many other technology companies, the business model of Apple is not based on excessive use of your products. In fact, we believe that now decide that question, offering parents more tools and solutions that can improve the Apple business and increase demand for its products.

Today, more and more the gap between “short” and “long term” thinking is narrowed on issues such as health care, human capital management, environmental protection, etc. And companies involved in business practices that make short-term sense, can undermine their own long-term viability. In Apple’s case, we believe that the long term health of the youngest customers and the health of society, our economy and the company are inextricably linked, and, thus, the only difference between the changes that we uphold now in the Apple, and the type of shareholders changes better known that serves for the period during which they will enhance and protect value. As you can imagine, this is of particular concern to the beneficiaries of CalSTRS, the California state teacher,

Although you may have already started work on the consideration of issues raised here, however, we will appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter with the Council to attract a wider range of voices.

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