Teens Have a Victory Against Apple's Engineers

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

A recent Washington Post article pointed out that teenagers are figuring out how to "hack" Apple's Screentime feature, which aims to limit screentime for children and provide some "downtime" for them. As a parent, this could be both disturbing and impressive.

Challenging authority is a normal and healthy part of growing up - at times, it should even be encouraged (in a respectful way). As us adults know, adults are not always right. At the same time, it's up to parents to explain why many rules are important to follow and how they are there to protect us.

These teens outsmarting a bunch of engineers is also sort of impressive, if it weren't indicative of a deeper, underlying problem. They're beating the engineers at their own game, but to what end?

The behavior being exhibited here is reminiscent of someone who is addicted to a substance, but in this case, it's a device. Center on Addiction lists some of these behaviors as "failing to fulfill obligations at work, home or school as a result of continued use" and "continued use despite ongoing social or relationship problems caused or worsened by use" and "giving up or reducing social, occupational or recreational activities because of use." To some degree, do any or all of these sound familiar?

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