Tech billionaire parenting

“Melinda Gates’s children don’t have smartphones and only use a computer in the kitchen. Her husband Bill spends hours in his office reading books while everyone else is refreshing their homepage. The most sought-after private school in Silicon Valley, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, bans electronic devices for the under-11s and teaches the children of eBay, Apple, Uber and Google staff to make go-karts, knit and cook. Mark Zuckerberg wants his daughters to read Dr Seuss and play outside rather than use Messenger Kids. Steve Jobs strictly limited his children’s use of technology at home.

It’s astonishing if you think about it: the more money you make out of the tech industry, the more you appear to shield your family from its effects.”. (Alice Thomson in The Times)

Well, yes. These are very smart individuals and, clearly, good parents.  But, equally clearly, they also sound edgy and cynical about the products they created and maybe care little about their fellow men and women, otherwise thay wouldn’t be pushing all this waste-of-time and arguable divisive, potentially socially and politically harmful stuff at us (or, like Zuckerberg, promising improvements he either can’t or won’t make, hoping the criticism goes away).

In the name of ataraxia I will have nothing to do with Facebook et al.  My three youngest grandchildren don’t even know what they are.  Long may they remain in ignorance, read, educate themselves, play together and just be old- fashioned, well adjusted children.  If they are laughed at, so be it.



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