Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates Raised His Kids With Minimal Technology

Most kids who grew up in the 1990s would have experienced the Nokia 3310 as their first mobile phone - and some might have also had a Gameboy, Nintendo or Sega Mega Drive if they were lucky.

However, more and more kids are growing up with sophisticated smartphones, tablets and other devices because of technology's popularity, availability and affordability.

Some are barely old enough to walk and already have a higher score on Candy Crush or more levels on Angry Birds than most adults.

But interestingly, one of the most influential and revolutionary minds in the tech industry ensured that his kids would be raised with minimal exposure to the machines he was partly responsible for.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates wants to introduce technology into the classroom, but he's wary of how much time people spend on them.

Bill Gates with his daughter Jennifer. Credit: PA
Bill Gates with his daughter Jennifer. Credit: PA

In 2007, he explained to Reuters: "[My daughter] became very avid and discovered a lot of computer games, including one that runs on the Xbox 360 called Viva Pinata, where you take care of your garden.

"She could spend two or three hours a day on this, because it's kind of engaging and fun."

So, Bill and his wife, Melinda, decided to cap her screen time to 45 minutes per day and an hour on weekends.

But that wasn't the only restriction he put in place, as he told the Mirror: "We didn't give our kids cell phones until they were 14 and they complained other kids got them earlier.

"We often set a time after which there is no screen time and, in their case, that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

There have been multiple studies into the 'blue light' effect, which is how the light emitted by a smartphone or tablet is picked up by cells in our eyes that tell our brains that it's morning rather than bedtime. The light suppresses melatonin, which is the hormone that helps control your sleep cycle.

But he wasn't the only tech genius who was cautious about how kids interact with difference devices. Before his death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said he also placed restrictions on the amount of technology his kids used.

Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, told the New York Times: "Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things.

"No one ever pulled out an iPad or computer. The kids did not seem addicted at all to devices."

It's nice to know that even the people behind the latest technology made sure it wasn't a big feature of their kids growing up. Maybe we should all try and set our own restrictions and see whether it's beneficial.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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