Are Tech Companies Responsible For Phone Addiction?

There is a growing worry that the youth of today is falling into the trap of what many are calling “phone addiction.” This came to a head when two shareholders of Apple begged the company to do something about it.

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The two shareholders in question are investors Jana Partners LLC and CalSTRS – California State Teacher’s Retirement System. Together, the companies issued Apple with a letter asking to take measures that will curb smartphone addiction, particularly when it comes to children.

The letter states: “We have reviewed the evidence and we believe there is a clear need for Apple to offer parents more choices and tools to help them ensure that young consumers are using your products in an optimal manner.”

As a result, phone companies around the world have questioned whether or not they are responsible and need to make a change to tackle this issue.

Recent studies suggest that people are becoming alarmingly dependent on their electronic devices, particularly their smartphones. As of 2017, the average age that an American acquires their first phone is 10.3 years. This poses the question: how much does the overuse of smartphones affect underdeveloped minds?

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The two companies have $2 billion worth of shares in Apple and believe that the tech company isn’t doing enough to tackle this addiction. In their letter, they hope that Apple can develop software to confront this issue.

This isn’t just a problem that faces Americans. Addiction technology is becoming somewhat of a global pandemic. A notable example of a nation with a particularly dire case of technology addiction is South Korea.

Both social media and online gaming seem to be the two prime catalysts for phone addiction. Then there are those who believe that the phone industry should carry on profiting from such technology.

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Chief executive of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, Ross Gerber, believes that “addictive things are very profitable. We invest in things that are addictive”.