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23 January 2018

Apple's Tim Cook: 'I Don't Want My Nephew on a Social Network'

Apple's Tim Cook: 'I don't want my nephew on a social network'
by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian, 20 January 2018

Apple chief talks about tax affairs and overuse of tech at launch of school coding initiative

The head of Apple, Tim Cook, believes there should be limits to the use of technology in schools and says he does not want his nephew to use a social network.

Cook was talking at Harlow college in Essex, one of 70 institutions across Europe that will use Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum, it was announced on Friday.

“I don’t believe in overuse [of technology]. I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using it all the time,” he said. “I don’t subscribe to that at all.”

Even in computer-aided courses, such as graphic design, technology should not dominate, he said.

“There are are still concepts that you want to talk about and understand. In a course on literature, do I think you should use technology a lot? Probably not.”

The 57-year old chief executive, who took the reins at Apple after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, said the company cared deeply about children outside the classroom.

“I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”

Despite having just walked off a plane on a whistle-stop tour of Europe, Cook put the teachers and students at ease. Dressed in a blue jumper, grey jeans and blue suede shoes, he scarcely appears a tech billionaire (Apple is on track to be the first $1tn firm).

“He’s is the most famous person we’ve had here as a guest,” said one teacher. “The second? Oh, David Cameron.”

Born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1960, to a docker and a pharmacy worker, Cook grew up in the town of Robertsdale. He spent 12 years at IBM before Jobs asked him to join Apple in 1998. It was Jobs’ passion and purpose to “serve humanity” that Cook said drew him to the company. “After 15 years of searching, something clicked. I finally felt aligned.”

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