This week technology giant Apple has found themselves under scrutiny from two of its top investors, government officials, and news organizations. A public letter was released earlier this week from Apple investors Jana Partners and CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System), making a plea to Apple for better parental controls on their devices; primarily iPhones. On the Think Differently About Kids website, that requires each visitor to agree to legal terms before reading the letter, the investors detail how smartphones have become addictive to Children and teens and Apple needs to resolve this issue.

Apple immediately responded by issuing a statement to news outlets stating that they had future plans to implement stronger parental controls in their iOS, according to The Verge. Apple went on to express their commitment to their customers and especially their drive for protecting kids. They also pointed out the pre-existing parental controls found within their operating system and noted that these controls have been offered since 2008.

For the past ten years, Apple has provided parental controls, allowing parents to restrict what websites their children visit, what they can download, how much cellular data they can use, etc., which leaves one to ask: What more should Apple be doing and how far should they go?

How far should Apple go?

In 2006, Twentieth Century Fox debuted a film titled “Idiocracy.” IMDB lists the tagline for the film as “In the future, intelligence is extinct.” Those who have seen the film know that while it was meant to be a comedy there is much truth in what this film projected our future becoming. In one scene a lady is trying to purchase food from a Carl’s Jr.

robotic vending machine. She pays for her food but doesn’t receive anything and begins banging on the machine demanding she receive her food. A robotic voice can be heard, telling the woman she is an unfit mother and Carl’s Jr now has custody of her children because they believe no child should go hungry.

Is that what our future has become?

Are big corporations like Apple going to become the parents of our children? And the bigger question is, should they?

Should Apple become the parental figure?

An article on Fortune’s website details that a new proposal in Colorado might make it illegal for anyone under the age of 13 to buy a smartphone. The way this would work is retailers would have to inquire about the age of the phone’s user and then submit reports to the Colorado government. If retailers are caught selling iPhones to be used by anyone under the age of 13 they will be warned and then fined per incident. If the measure receives roughly 300,000 voter signatures it will appear on the 2018 ballot. Is the government taking things too far?

CNBC reported that ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell recommends that companies such as Apple report data usage to third parties so apps can monitor the amount of time one spends in front of a screen.

Now, before you decide if you agree or disagree with these statements, ask yourself this: Who should be responsible for the actions of your children? Should the government be the one to tell you how your kids will live and function throughout life? Or maybe the big tech companies like Apple should be responsible for teaching your children right from wrong?

Who will raise the children?

Parent shaming has become a more frequent affair as celebrities and non-celebrities post photos of their children online. People are very quick to comment on what is right and wrong and how children should be raised today. While the issue of parent shaming is definitely not okay, it does lead one to believe that people overall care for their children’s well-being and believe they know best in terms of how to raise them.

When people are called out through social media for doing what someone else deems as wrong for the child, the parent is typically upset and responds back that no one has the right to tell them how to raise their child. If so, why are we so quick to put the blame on Apple for failing to do right by our children?

Doesn’t the responsibility lie in the hands of parents? Parents need to be held accountable for things like Smartphone Addiction and properly educated on how to protect their children from such issues.

Years ago parents accused music and video games of teaching their children violence and how to act inappropriately in the world. What came out of that was a realization that it wasn’t the music or the video games to blame, it was the lack of involvement parents had in their children’s lives. Without proper guidance children won’t know right from wrong or understand how to navigate through the media they encounter. No one wants to feel like a horrible parent and it’s easier to place the blame on someone else, but be careful what you wish for. Next time you buy an iPhone, your child may not be the only one told what they can and can’t do.