ChatGPT's New Skills Resident Evil 4 Remake Galaxy A54 5G Hands-On TikTok CEO Testifies Huawei's New Folding Phone How to Use Google's AI Chatbot Airlines and Family Seating Weigh Yourself Accurately
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Kate Winslet says parents losing control of kids to social media

Technically Incorrect: The "Steve Jobs" co-star says that kids shouldn't be allowed gadgets and instead enjoy pencil and paper.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Kate Winslet, here pleading with Steve Jobs, makes sure her kids aren't tech-obsessed.

Movieclips/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"They go into a world and parents let them do it."

These words were offered by one of Steve Jobs' closest confidantes, or rather by the actress who plays Joanna Hoffman in Aaron Sorkin's "Steve Jobs" movie.

Kate Winslet, who plays the former Apple marketing executive in the movie, was telling the Sunday Times (paywall) about her friends' kids and the effect iGadgets have on them.

The former actress said she deals with her three kids in a simple way: "Take the device out of their hand."

Clearly, this would cause vast conniptions in many households. Permanent scars would be formed. The kids would decry their parents on social media as examples of devil culture. They might even call 911.

Winslet, though, is still partial to old-fashioned (and arguably healthier) methods.

"Don't let them sleep with it," she said of the gadgets. "Play Monopoly. These things are not rocket science. Do drawing games. If we go to the pub we always take paper and pen."

The actress is also highly critical of the effects of social media on kids' psyches, especially those of girls. She fears for girls who post pictures of their hair for strangers to "like."

This will have a "huge impact on young women's self-esteem because all they will ever do is design themselves for people to like them. And what comes along with that? Eating disorders," she said.

It's not that Winslet is completely anti-technology. It's that she believes that there's a horrible alienating, corrosive effect when people become addicted to technology and its effects.

It's true that many parents are losing control of their kids' behavior and very lives. But isn't part of the reason that the parents themselves have been sucked into the world of Facebook and Instagram?

Isn't it true that while the kids are on their phones during dinner, many parents are too, creating a peculiarly sad image that a modern Edward Hopper would delight in painting?

Do parents really want control of their kids? Or do they want to indulge them, thereby freeing themselves up for whatever they want to do?

Winslet believes that the minute you share a memory on the Worldwide Web, it isn't your memory anymore.

But that's what so many of the Web's dominant corporate forces want. They want to know everything. They want to make privacy a painful irrelevance.

Because they want to make money out of it.