Woz would have disagreed with Jobs about screen time for kids

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Steve Wozniak. Photo:
Woz would never tell his kids to stop being tech addicts.
Photo: HigherEdWeb/Flickr CC

Despite being a veritable genius when it comes to selling the masses on the latest tech product, Steve Jobs once candidly admitted that he set strict guidelines for how much time his own kids were allowed to watch screens at home.

It seems Jobs’ Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, isn’t quite on the same page, however — as Woz argues in a new interview that kids should be able to spend as much time on the computer as they want.

Speaking with Australian current affairs show Lateline, Woz said that, “I would never tell a kid to get off their phones, [just like I wouldn’t with] any kid doing anything technical, addicted to a computer, [or] addicted to a game. Let them find themselves in the world. Don’t force your values on them.”

I’ve written quite a bit about kids’ use of tech during my time at Cult of Mac — and it always yields interesting responses. A previous 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.

At the same time, it’s impossible to deny the many benefits associated with kids’ ready access to technology, from smartphones to tablets.

Do you agree with Woz or Jobs in this debate? And how do you allow for changing technologies and not wanting to “force your values” on kids when it comes to how much screen time they’re allowed? Leave your comments below.

(The rest of the Woz interview is also worth checking out, if you’re interested in the perspectives of Apple’s often outspoken co-founder.)

Source: ABC