Steve Jobs wouldn’t let his kids become iOS addicts

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Steve Jobs presided over some memorable announcements during his time at Apple. (Picture: Flickr)
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Being Steve Jobs’ son or daughter would surely mean a never-ending supply of new high-tech devices to play around with, right?

Not according to a New York Times article by Nick Bilton, who claims that Jobs set out to purposely limit the amount of time his kids spent using their iPhones and other gadgets — even going so far as to stop them using Apple’s latest must have-devices altogether.

Bilton recalls being “[chewed] out” by Steve Jobs after writing about one of the iPad’s perceived shortcomings in 2010. After Jobs had cooled down, Bilton asked Jobs what his children thought of the then-newly released iPad, to which Jobs informed the stunned journalist that they hadn’t tried it yet because, “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

The subsequent story describes how this actually isn’t all that uncommon a practice for the kids of technology CEOs and the like — many of whom spend less time with the latest tech product than your average person. Bilton backed his conversation with Jobs up by contacting biographer Walter Isaacson to check Jobs was telling him the truth.

“Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,” Isaacson says, his knowledge coming from having spent plenty of time in the Jobs household. “No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices.”

A recent article in Newsweek claimed that U.S. children spend more than 7.5 hours each day using smartphones and other electronic devices: something attributed to making them inept at reading social cues due to the lack of personal interaction.

Steve Jobs definitely realized the value of personal interaction (for better and worse) so perhaps it’s no surprise he would want his kids to be the same.

But it’s still a startlingly honest revelation from a person who did such a great job of selling the latest must-have device to the rest of us.