Kids are overusing iPhones, warn two Apple investors

Mobile Technology Causes Long Term Damage

Such a move was likely prompted by a letter sent by Apple investors JANA Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, which raised concerns over how children may end up overusing their iPhones and iPads. We believe that by doing so, Apple will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, by creating more choices and options for their customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators, and customers tomorrow.

"We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them", Apple said in a statement on Tuesday.

In the letter, the shareholders noted that Apple had been setting precedents in the innovation of smartphone technology, and this time, they are hoping that the iPhone maker would once again set the bar in terms of "setting an example about the obligations of technology companies to their youngest customers".

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In the past 3 to 5 years since personal technologies have entered the classroom, 90% stated that the number of students with emotional challenges has increased and 86% said the number with social challenges has increased. The letter cites a collection of studies that show that as little as 3 hours spent on smartphones every day can harm children's physical and mental well-being.

Smartphones and other digital devices are "dramatically changing the way we behave, the way we relate to each other and the way our society really works", Rich told HuffPost.

Professor Twenge's research indicated that USA teenagers spending three or more hours a day on their mobile phones were 35% more likely to have a suicide risk factor than those who spend less than an hour.

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Sleep deprivation, which is linked to weight gain and high blood pressure.

According to several surveys cited in the open letter to Apple, the average USA teenager receives his or her first smartphone at age 10 and spends more than 4.5 hours a day using it (this includes time spent on social media, watching videos, listening to music and playing games, but not time spent texting and talking). Neither investor wants Apple to aggressively restrict youth use - rather, they propose the company divine the "developmentally optimal amount and type of access" given the educational opportunities devices provide.

Amid criticism from investors, Apple claimed that the company "leads the industry" on child safety and said that it has, since 2008, made apps for parents to monitor usage.

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Half of teenagers in the US feel like they are addicted to their mobile phones and report feeling pressure to immediately respond to phone messages, according to a 2016 survey of children and their parents by Common Sense Media.

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