Imagine this: You’re a teenager and all of your friends have smartphones, but your father won’t let you get one until you’re 14 years old. Oh, and your father just happens to be the founder of Microsoft.
This is a true story, as the Mirror reports. Bill Gates, “one of humanity’s greatest technological innovators,” according to Mirror writer Emily Retter, didn’t allow his children (now ages 14, 17 and 20) to have cell phones until they turned 14. Gates’ kids weren’t pleased, either: He told the Mirror that they “complained other kids got them earlier.”
Gates also told the Mirror that “we don’t have cellphones at the table when we are having a meal” and that his youngest child isn’t allowed to use screens before bedtime, something Gates said “helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour.”
Gates’ stance on screens within his family speaks volumes: Someone who’s had such a profound global impact on technology clearly understands that despite the benefits of digital connection, screen time needs to be moderated, and that helping children set healthy boundaries with technology (even if they complain at the time) will ultimately help them lead happier and healthier lives.
Read the entire interview on the Mirror.
Originally published at medium.com