In this digital age, it's difficult to keep kids away from screens. Rewind to just 15 years ago, smartphones hadn't taken over the market and MySpace was still the way we communicated. In just the space of a few years, tablets, iPhones, and other tech gadgets have become a huge part of everyday life for many. It's no secret that kids adore watching YouTube and playing games, but how often and how long should you let your little ones play on it? The debate rages on, and now YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has put in her two cents.
Despite running the most popular video-sharing platform of all time, Wojcicki has admitted she too struggles with controlling screentime. According to Business Insider, the working mom puts an emphasis on making sure her kids focus on the present moment. As she has five kids, it's not always an easy task. During an interview with The Guardian, Wojcicki said, "People need to learn when it's time to be focused on the conversation, and when it's okay to go and watch videos or do other activities on the internet."
As all parents know, sometimes the suggestion isn't enough. Clearly not one to suffer fools, Wojcicki takes away her kid's phones while on family vacation so they can have bonding time together. Although she makes a point of controlling screen time in some aspects such as this, the high-flyer also wants her children to learn self-control for themselves. Growing up, she explained, spending too much time watching TV was an issue for her, but she soon learned that other parts of her life were just as enjoyable, such as reading, sport, and other activities. Wojcicki hopes her kids, who range from 4 to late teens, will also find a balance.
The CEO also waded in on another taboo subject: when it's appropriate for a child to have a phone at all. Kids as young as four have been known to have their own devices, but for Wojcicki, the magic number is 11. Once they're in middle school, they may be responsible enough to start learning about the whole process, she says.