Apple Investors: Company Should Address Phone Addiction Among Youth
Atheer – External Sources
Apple Inc shareholders Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) are urging the smartphone maker to take steps to address the growing issue of youth addiction to its iPhones.
According to Reuters, Jana, a leading activist shareholder and CalSTRS, one of the United States’ largest public pension plans, delivered a letter to Apple on Saturday asking the company to consider developing software that would allow parents to limit children’s phone use. They also asked Apple to study the impact of excessive phone use on mental health.
This represents a new turn for Jana, which is known for pushing companies in which it invests to make financial changes.
However, the issue of phone addiction among the youth has become a growing concern in the US and CalSTRS and Jana worry that Apple’s reputation and stock could be hurt if it does not address such concerns.
According to a 2016 survey of children and their parents by Common Sense Media, half of teenagers in the United States consider themselves to be addicted to their mobile phones and report feeling pressure to immediately respond to messages.
The issue of phone addiction was placed under the lens when former Disney child star Selena Gomez, 24, revealed that she canceled a 2016 world tour in order to go to therapy for depression and low self-esteem. She linked this to her addiction to social media and in particular the mobile photo-sharing app Instagram.