Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use iPad’s. Why do we?

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Recently my wife and I have had conversations about the dominance and the proper role technology should have in our lives and in the life of our kids. I then came across a 2010 interview with Steve Jobs. I was shocked to say the least.

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” I asked Mr. Jobs, trying to change the subject. The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves. “They haven’t used it,” he told me. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence. I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.

Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.

Nick Bilton of the Times goes on to say this is common among America’s High Tech elite. Here is the link for the whole article.

As a parent it is very easy to allow screens to raise our kids. What gave me pause is that if anyone could see the benefits of technology Jobs could. He was so persuasive in the benefits of his devices that I’m sure Bill Gates owned a few iPads. What is concerning to me is that someone who knows what is possible with an iPad chose to keep his kids on a very short technology leash.

The article go on to describe how a typical dinner at the Jobs house was around a table with discussion around history, philosophy and literature rather than apps, games and music. Our job as parents is to help nurture our kids sense of possibility. To tap into what could be that comes from seeing what has been and what is. Technology is amazing but must have a limited hold our our kid’s imagination. You can not create something new if you are consumed by things as they are.

How do you limit your kids time on digital devices?

1. Set a timer.

2. Allow your kids to earn time. – It the summer our kids can only play on screens for the same length of time they have spent time reading.

3. Make sure your kids are in a common place when on mobile devices so you can monitor their activity.

4. Actively provide other things for your kids to do that engage them in creative production rather than simply passive consumption.

Why reading blogs, books and tweets may be bad for you.

When it comes to blogging or anything else in life for that matter there is a delicate balance that must be maintained in order for you to be effective. I call it the production vs. consumption dilemma. Catchy I know. Here is the problem. We live in a time where more content is being generated than ever before in our history. Check out this info graphic on how much content is created in one minute on the web. The numbers are staggering.

web content infographic

What has happened has been a seismic shift in content creation. The internet has removed all the previous gateways that filtered content. For example you want to write a book you can anyone can. There are literally hundreds of sites that will help you get your content out there. Years ago the publishing companies where the gatekeepers of books. If your book wasn’t good or what the publishing companies thought people wanted your content didn’t see the light of day. This was a good thing and a bad thing. It was good because it acted as a filter and mostly worked. It was bad because it kept us from finding new voices and hearing new ideas. This is just publishing the internet has broken down so many walls when it comes to content creation it’s almost overwhelming.

My Children’s Pastor is Irrelevant

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One of the things I have noticed over the past few years in the kids ministry community, is kids and youth pastors seem to move around a lot. I always found this to be quite curious. I moved around many times as a kid. So I always chalked up my awareness of how often kids and youth pastors move because of my personal experience growing up. Last year I went to Australia and I found that they don’t have the same ministry culture there. To be fair there are some pioneers in kids ministry in Australia but the whole of kids ministry in Australia is largely done by volunteers and part-time kids and youth pastors who were raised in the church they are serving.

I think the problem in the American church is not a problem of relevance at all. I think many kids and youth pastors leave their churches prematurely. The reason is they misinterpret their feelings of frustration. I remember feeling antsy around 4 years in and I also remember God say you haven’t finished what I have for you to do. So I stayed. 10 years in I had accomplished all I knew that I was to do. I started to ask God if I was done or just in the wrong place. I felt that he was saying neither. I was confused. I then felt in my heart that God was calling me to spend the rest of my time releasing and training others to do what I do.

I think Lead Pastors and Kids pastors get it wrong at exactly the same time.

Logos Review: The Bible Speaks Today: New Testament

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The Bible Speaks Today series has been widely acclaimed for its combination of scholarship and application. Now its bestselling New Testament volumes are made available in electronic form. All who preach and teach the Word of God, or who want to study it earnestly, will benefit from these superb studies and the technology that now supports them.

The Bible Speaks Today series, according to John Stott, is characterized by the following threefold ideal:

  • Expound the Biblical Text with Accuracy
  • Relate it to Contemporary Life
  • Make it Readable

The equivalent print editions in this collection are over 5,700 pages. And now, with Logos Bible Software, you can search every page for a passage or topic in only seconds.

My interview with Matt Perman on Gospel Productivity.

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I recently read a book entitled What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done” By Matt Perman. Here is my review of the book I did a few weeks back. I loved the book how it tackled the whole issue of productivity from the standpoint the great commandment and the great commission. I often talk with my team and tell them we are not efficient with people we are efficient with problems so we can extend grace to people. That’s the heart beat of this book. After I finished reading this book I reached out to Matt to do a blog interview below is that interview.

1. You talk a lot about the need to eliminate and create larger chunks of time – Drucker starts time management by telling executives they need to “Know thy Time” You didn’t mention in your book to specifically track where your time goes. Was this on purpose?  

This is a great question, because originally I did have a section talking about the importance of tracking your time. Tracking your time is an important step because, as Drucker points out, you can’t manage your time unless you know where it actually goes. And, unfortunately, our memories are almost always wrong on this. The only way to truly know where your time goes is to track it. Once you track your time (for a period of about two weeks), then you identify the time wasters, cut them out, and consolidate the time that remains.

I cut those pages out in part due to the need to reduce page count and in part because tracking your time is just plain really hard to do. I wanted to develop a system that was as uncomplicated as possible and that people would actually do. I didn’t think most people would actually take the advice of tracking their time. If I had it to do over again, though, that is something I would probably update, or at least include in a footnote.

2. I loved your list of books to read at the end of each chapter. As a reader I found it exciting and also expensive. If you could recommend just one book as the next book to read after reading What’s Best Next what would that book be?

The one book I would recommend reading after What’s Best Next is Tim Sanders’s book Love is the Killer App. The reason is that it is all about the importance of generosity as the best way to succeed at work, which is one of the most important principles I emphasize in What’s Best Next.