The World Health Organisation just released screen-time guidelines for kids. Here's how some of the world's most successful CEOs limit it at home

  • Kids under 5 shouldn’t use screens for more than an hour a day, according to the World Health Organisation’s first-ever guidance on tech use among children.
  • Many CEOs already raise their children with limited technology. Some of them include tech titans that helped invent social media or devices that kids use.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Letting toddlers use screens can be detrimental to their health, according to the first-ever guidance on tech use among children.

The World Health Organisation says children under 5 shouldn’t spend more than one hour watching screens every day, while children under 1 shouldn’t use screens at all. Though the WHO did not specify what harm screen time causes, the organisation says tech overuse could contribute to decreasing physical activity that causes death and obesity.

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Tech titans who created the social media or devices kids use have long been raising their own children gadget-free. Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not let his kids play with a then newly invented iPad. Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel – whose platform is popular among young people – has a limit on the amount of tech kids can use.

Elite Silicon Valley parents who raise their kids tech-free reportedly even make their nannies sign “no-phone contracts.”

“We know at some point they will need to get their own phones,” a Silicon Valley parent previously told Business Insider reporter Chris Weller. “But we are prolonging it as long as possible.”

Here are seven CEOs who raise their kids (or, in one case, nephew) tech-free:

Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, limited the use of his own technology among his kids.

When asked by a reporter if his kids liked his then-newly released iPad, the late tech guru said he prohibited his kids from using it. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs told New York Times reporter Nick Bilton.

In fact, some suspect Jobs would have been worried about increased screen use. Tony Fadell, co-creator of the iPod, recently speculated that if Jobs were still alive, he would be addressing tech addiction and working to prevent it.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda did not let their kids get cell phones until they turned 14.

Shutterstock Rex for EEM

In fact, the Gates kids were not allowed to use phones at the dinner table. The couple also set limits on how close to bedtime their kids could use their phone, Bill Gates said in a 2017 interview. The former CEO also implemented a cap on screen time when he noticed his daughter playing video games too much.

Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel imposes an hour and a half of screen time per week on his kids.

Getty Images

The screen-limit rule comes from his wife Miranda Kerr’s first marriage, Spiegel told the Financial Times.

The Snapchat founder urged other parents to cut down on screen time so kids aren’t “looking at the black back of the phone . . . [with] no idea what’s going on.”

Young people use Snapchat more than any other age group – 35% of teenagers aged 13 to 7 used the social media platform more often than YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai keeps the TV away from his kids.

In an interview last year, Pichai told the New York Times his 11-year-old son does not have a cell phone, and he keeps the television away to limit its use.

Mark Cuban, business mogul and co-owner of the Dallas Mavericks, allowed his kids two hours of Netflix for every hour of reading.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Cuban implemented this viewing method first, but his daughter got another Netflix password from her friend. He tried a similar tactic with his son: he could only play Minecraft after watching maths videos or solving maths problems.

Now, the CEO has Cisco routers that allow him to detect when his kids are using technology so he can shut down all activity.

Apple CEO Tim Cook did not want his nephew using social media, and argued the use of tech in schools should be limited.

While Cook has no children of his own, he said he did not believe overusing technology leads to success, and he would want to limit social media use for his nephew.

Additionally, Cook cautioned against overusing technology in the classroom.

“There are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand,” Cook told the Guardian. “In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella monitors which sites his kids can go on.

Nadella gets reports on what his kids are doing on their computers. “Technology for entertainment is always going to be a negotiation in our house. How many movies, what kinds of video games,” Satya’s wife Anu said in an interview with Good Housekeeping.

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