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- Men’s lifestyle magazine GQ published an in-depth profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday.
- Cook said today’s kids are “born digital,” but warned there should be “hard rails” on screen time.
- Cook was also described as someone who does not personally “log on all that much.”
Despite leading one of the most important tech companies in the world, Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t want to see kids glued to the company’s products.
“Kids are born digital, they’re digital kids now,” Cook was quoted saying in a lengthy profile of him published in GQ on Monday. “And it is, I think, really important to set some hard rails around it.”
Cook, who doesn’t have children, previously said that he didn’t want to see his nephew using social media and even argued that tech usage in schools should be limited.
In the GQ profile, Cook suggested that Apple is not driven by fostering digital addiction. “We don’t want people using our phones too much. We’re not incentivized for that. We don’t want that. We provide tools so people don’t do that,” Cook said.
Instead, he said that the company is focused on building products that empower people to do, learn, or even create things they otherwise couldn’t.
But Cook’s skepticism of technology extends beyond its impact on kids.
In a commencement address he gave at Stanford in 2019— the unofficial incubator for some of the world’s most successful technologists— Cook said, “In an age of cynicism, this place still believes that the human capacity to solve problems is boundless. But so, it seems, is our potential to create them.”
The GQ profile also mentioned Cook’s wariness of the “data-industrial complex,” which was described as a host of companies — including Apple — that profit off the use and sale of personal consumer data. Under Cook’s tenure, Apple rolled out a major set of privacy changes in 2021 that prevent third party apps from accessing consumer data unless they received users’ permission.
Cook himself seems to prioritize spending time in nature as opposed to being terminally online.
The profile noted that Cook doesn’t “log on all that much” in a sea of what the story’s author called “pathological tech founders who log on daily to pontificate about the collective future of humankind.”
Instead, Cook — who cycles and hikes — contended in the profile that being in nature is “better than any other thing you can possibly do!”