As more time is spent in front of a screen — whether it’s a phone, tablet or computer — increased attention is being paid to negative effects.
Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — with $2 billion in stock — issued an open call to Apple about the impact its products are having on users. Their letter cited insufficient sleep, a higher risk of depression and suicide.
Part of that screen time problem comes from social media. Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, published in April 2016 in the journal “Depression and Anxiety,” found the more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to experience depression.
Even Tony Fadell, the former Apple executive who designed the iPhone, chimed in on Twitter about the issue:
Flipd, an app aimed at limiting screen disruptions, advocates a digital detox for a number of reasons: better sleep, work/life balance and single-tasking can make you happier.
Apple also told Business Insider it would introduce new features and tools to help address the issue of phone addiction but didn’t offer any specifics.
“We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them,” Apple said in a statement. “We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”