Think Differently Apple!

In January of 2018, JANA Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which collectively own about $2 billion in value of shares of Apple Inc., wrote an open letter to the technology giant. As they wrote, “As shareholders, we recognize your unique role in the history of innovation and the fact that Apple is one of the most valuable brand names in the world.” In the letter, they urge Apple “to offer parents more choices and tools to help them ensure that young consumers are using your products in an optimal manner. “

They cited the growing body of evidence that shows the consequences of technology for children. Such research includes:

* “67% of the over 2,300 teachers surveyed observed that the number of students who are negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom is growing and 75% say students’ ability to focus on educational tasks has decreased.”

*  “8th graders who are heavy users of social media have a 27% higher risk of depression.”

* “A study by UCLA researchers showed that after 5 days at a device-free outdoor camp, children performed far better on tests for empathy than a control group.”

JANA Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, in the letter in the site called Think Differently About Kids, offered a number of suggestions for Apple.  Apple issued a statement saying, “We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them. We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”