I have to admit I never thought I’d see the day when two large investors – only one of them representing teachers in reliably left-leaning California – would pressure a major technology company to recognize the toxic impact smart phones are having on children.
But that’s what’s happening today. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System and Jana Partners – which together own a $2 billion piece of Apple – published a letter, which you can read for yourself here, citing a growing body of research that throws light on the danger of excessive smart phone use in children, indicating it can cause anything from lack of empathy to increased risk of suicide. The letter asks the tech giant to throw parents a lifeline in trying to help children manage the intentionally addictive properties of smart phones and their online apps.
Janus is typically described as an “event driven” and “activist” investor. That doesn’t mean it’s dedicated to causes, but rather that it proactively drives decision-making at companies in which it has substantial holdings in order to increase investor value over either the short- or long-term. In the letter to Apple, is suggests that overlooking this issue could have a long-term negative impact on Apple stock.
Here’s a report on it from Forbes (which doesn’t permit the article to be embedded in blogs like BigBadBiz).
And following is a report from NPR, which doesn’t block embedded pages.