Panic in the Valley: Parents, nannies and iPhone vigilantes

Some might call it hypocrisy.


From New Job for Nannies: Screen Police in Sunday’s New York Times. 

From Cupertino to San Francisco, a growing consensus has emerged that screen time is bad for kids. It follows that these parents are now asking nannies to keep phones, tablets, computers and TVs off and hidden at all times. Some are even producing no-phone contracts, which guarantee zero unauthorized screen exposure, for their nannies to sign.

The fear of screens has reached the level of panic in Silicon Valley. Vigilantes now post photos to parenting message boards of possible nannies using cellphones near children. Which is to say, the very people building these glowing hyper-stimulating portals have become increasingly terrified of them.

My take: Tricky issue. Apple spends billions per year marketing devices that it has come to believe are harmful to children. Some might call that hypocrisy. iOS now has parental controls, of course, but judging how much time we all spend bent over our smartphones, that train may have left the station.