The CEO of the largest tech company in the world, Apple, has actively discouraged the overuse of technology products. In an extraordinary speech at Harlow College in Essex, U.K, Tim Cook even asserted that he would not want his kids to use social networks.
“I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time,” he said, as reported by the Guardian. “I don’t subscribe to that at all.” Cook, who has been with Apple for 20 years, also encouraged students to pursue other interests and courses outside of the technology field.
“There are are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not,” the Apple executive said.
That being said, Cook still places huge value on learning how to code in our progressively digital age.
“I think if you had to make a choice, it’s more important to learn coding than a foreign language. I know people who disagree with me on that. But coding is a global language; it’s the way you can converse with 7 billion people,” he told students.
Cook took over the leadership of Apple from founder Steve Jobs after Jobs passed away from cancer in 2011. In 2017, Apple generated a global revenue of 229.23 billion U.S. dollars.
Cook, who does not have any children, said he would be very wary of handing a piece of technology to a child, especially if it has the capability to access social networks.
“I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on,” said Cook. “There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”
The company recently announced its plans to help combat iPhone addiction after two major shareholders raised serious concerns about the amount of time young people are spending on Apple’s flagship device.
As CEO, Cook has made his own mark on the tech giant; he has championed health, e-waste and renewable energy initiatives. Now, he is pioneering Apple’s new educational coding programs.
Other Apple executives have spoken out on the issue. “Apple Watches, Google Phones, Facebook, Twitter — they’ve gotten so good at getting us to go for another click, another dopamine hit,” said Ipod and Iphone creator Tony Fadell in a tweet.
“They now have a responsibility & need to start helping us track & manage our digital addictions across all usages — phone, laptop, TV, etc.”
But the apple bosses are not the only tech giants who are concerned about children using their products. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reportedly only allowed his kids to get smartphones once they had reached their 14th birthday.