menu

Smartphones “exacerbate the difficulties of growing up,” Melinda Gates writes in Washington Post editorial

posted in Internet Tips for Families, Online Tips for Kids, Social Media Tips for Families by

Melinda Gates helped invent Microsoft Publisher and Expedia. You’d think she would be well prepared to help her kids navigate technology.

 

Bill and Melinda Gates are undoubtedly wonderful parents. But, according the Washington Post editorial Melinda penned titled, “I spent my career in technology, I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids,” she was floored by how quickly social media has enthralled teens and tweens.

 

“The challenges my younger daughter will be facing when she starts high school in the fall are light-years away from what my elder daughter, who’s now in college, experienced in 2010. My younger daughter’s friends live a lot of their lives through filters on Instagram and Snapchat, two apps that didn’t even exist when my elder daughter was dipping a toe in social media.”

 

The Gates’ conservative parenting approach to technology has made the news before– just a few months ago, Bill told The Mirror he and Melinda waited until their kids turned fourteen years old before giving them cell phones. They also have an evening curfew for the internet and require all phones to be turned off during dinner.

 

Other tech moguls seem to agree that kids should have limited contact with the technology their parents created. Steve Jobs, Chris Anderson (chief executive of 3D Robotics), and Evan Williams (founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium) have all been reported to have strict screen time rules for their kids.

 

Mrs. Gates’ advice dovetails perfectly with other experts’ recommendations for parents limiting screen time:

 

*Learn about the issue

She recommends the Atlantic‘s piece titled “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” We second the recommendation– the article would be a great one to read and discuss with teens and tweens.

*Unplug

Dinnertime is an especially rewarding time to be screen-free, writes Melinda.

*Have tough conversations

Kids are exposed to intense realities of life online. Be ready to have tough conversations and keep an open dialogue, especially about pornography and sex, cyberbullying, and current events.

*Advocate for your kids

Melinda writes hear about ensuring college students have access to mental health care. But advocating for your kids can mean setting responsible limits on technology use and being aware of kids spend their time online in addition to supporting their mental health at any age.

*Make a Plan

All families should have a family media plan with guidelines on the quantity and quantity of media consumed in your home and by your family. Read our tips for creating a family media plan here!

 

You can read the full Washington Post editorial by Melinda Gates by clicking here!

 

Ready to take back the internet in your home?

 Order your Clean Router today!

27 Aug, 17

about author

 

 

related posts

 

 

latest comments

There are 0 comment. on "Smartphones “exacerbate the difficulties of growing up,” Melinda Gates writes in Washington Post editorial"