In 2010 a New York Times reporter asked Apple mastermind Jobs how his children loved the brand new iPad. “They haven’t used it,” Jobs replied. “We limit just how much technology our kids use at home.” Since then, more Silicon Valley tech execs — people in the best position to understand the risks inherent in the devices they make and market — have voiced concerns. These quotes could leave you reconsidering your kids’ screen use.

“Phones and apps aren’t bad or good by themselves, but for adolescents who don’t yet possess the emotional tools to navigate life’s complications and confusions, they are able to exacerbate the difficulties of growing up: finding out how to be kind, coping with feelings of exclusion, benefiting from freedom while exercising self-control.”

— Melinda Gates, former Microsoft developer, cochair and cofounder from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gate’s, inside a 2021 Washington Post parenting perspective piece


“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly worried about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules. That’s because we view the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself; I don’t want to see that happen to my kids. . . . Around the scale between candy and crack cocaine, it’s nearer to crack cocaine.”

— Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired, founder of tech blog, and today CEO of robotics and drone company 3DR, quoted within the New York Times in 2021 and 2021


“The idea process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them . . . was all about ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’. . . God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

— Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker, speaking in the 2021 Axios conference


“I am convinced the devil resides in our phones and is wreaking damage to our children.”

— Athena Chavarria, former executive assistant at Facebook and current executive assistant at Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic arm, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, quoted within the New York Times in 2021


“I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew which i put some boundaries on. There's something that I won’t allow; I don’t would like them on a social network.”

— Apple CEO Tim Cook, quoted within the Guardian in 2021


“Apple Watches, Google Phones, Facebook, Twitter — they’ve gotten so good at getting us to choose another click, another dopamine hit. They now have a responsibility & need to start helping us track & manage our digital addictions across all usages.”

— Former Apple senior vice president Tony Fadell, one of the developers of the iPod and iPhone, on Twitter in 2021


“When it comes to digital ‘nourishment,’ we don’t know what a ‘vegetable,’ a ‘protein,’ or perhaps a ‘fat’ is. What is ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’? Exactly what does a healthy, moderate digital life look like? I think that manufacturers and app developers have to take on this responsibility, before government regulators decide to step in — as with nutritional labelling. Interestingly, we already have digital-detox clinics in the U.S. I've friends who have sent their kids to them. But we need basic tools to assist us before it comes to that.”

— Former Apple senior vice president Tony Fadell, one of the developers of the iPod and iPhone, in a 2021 Wired commentary


“My wife and I both want [our daughter] to be bored. My wife and I both want to know what it’s like to have limits on tech. So we’ll be regulating [her screen time] pretty heavily.”

— Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian on CNBC’s Squawk Box in 2021


“There’s no screen time whatsoever [for my children].”

— Former Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya on CNBC’s Squawk Box in 2021


“It's very common for humans to develop things with the best of intentions as well as for them to have unintended, negative consequences. . . . One reason I think it is particularly important for us to talk about this now is that we could be the last generation that can remember life before,”

— Former Google product manager and former Facebook engineering lead Justin Rosenstein, cofounder of software company Asana, quoted in the Guardian in 2021