Speaking at Harlow College in the U.K., Apple CEO Tim Cook warned against “overuse” of technology, and said he didn’t want young members of his own family to use social media.
Cook’s comments, reported by The Guardian, came as part of a tour of Europe to support Apple’s Everyone Can Code training curriculum.
“I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using [technology] all the time,” Cook said in part. Discussing education specifically, Cook emphasized that technology shouldn’t dominate even computer-specific courses, instead emphasizing the importance of “concepts that you want to talk about and understand.”
That’s very much in line with Apple’s history. Founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs famously focused on courses in the arts and humanities during his abbreviated college years, including a course on typography that would later influence Apple’s focus on design.
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Cook also commented on social media. Cook doesn’t have children. But, he said, “I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”
Cook’s comments echo growing concerns about the impacts of social networks, and technology more generally, on children and teenagers. A number of studies in 2017 showed increased levels of depression and anxiety among teens attributable to the growth of social networking.
Of course, Cook’s comments come from a place of relative ease. Though the smartphones at the heart of its business are also implicated in the so-called ‘attention economy,’ Apple doesn’t have any social media assets to speak of.
In fact, the company didn’t even have an official Twitter account until 2016, and still hasn’t used that account to tweet. Not even once.