What Steve Jobs Knew About High Tech Parenting

September 19, 2014
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Is “Digital Dementia” in Your Child’s Future?

It’s surprising…

Word has it that the late Apple guru, Steve Jobs, did not allow his kids to spend too much time with their digital gadgets.

Several recent articles including a piece in the New York Times entitled Steve Jobs Was A Low-Tech Parent have shed light on this little known fact about Jobs and what went on in his home.

“We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” Jobs was quoted as saying in the New York Times article.

Jobs was not the only technology expert who restricted tech use for his kids.

Former Wired Magazine Editor Chris Anderson told New York Times writer Nick Bilton:

“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists. They say that none of their friends have the same rules. That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology first hand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

Hold the Phones

It would appear that Jobs and other tech experts were on to something. Many of today’s parents are unaware of the dark side of technology and its growing detrimental effects on the development and learning ability of children.

Interestingly enough, many countries around the world including France and Russia are also imposing tech restrictions on the younger generation. They have either forbid cell phone use for children and teensZapped under age 18 or forbid the marketing of cell phones to children.

As the author of Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution, I wrote about the impact of non-ionizing radiation on a child’s thinner skull and developing brain.

Children are more vulnerable because their skulls and bones allow them to absorb twice the amount of radiation as a grown-up.

Electromagnetic fields from technological gadgets can more deeply penetrate the brain tissue which is more conductive than an adult because it contains a higher concentration of fluid and ions.

Wireless radiation has cumulative negative biological implications on children.

Abnormal changes in cellular membranes, DNA and chromosome aberrations and leaks in the blood brain barrier have all been well noted by independent researchers like Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, a pioneer in electrosensitivity and Dr. Martin Blank, author of Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do About It. 

The Dark Side of Technology for Kids

More and more researchers and professional organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics are calling for restricted use of technology for children and youth.

They explicitly state that children 0-2 years of age should have no exposure to any type of technology, while those 3-5 can be exposed to one hour per day, and 6-18 years old should be restricted to a mere two hours per day.

An enlightening new website—zonein.ca—created by pediatric occupational therapist Cris Rowan covers the disastrous implications of blanketing our children in wireless fields created by electropollution—the hidden, invisible threat that is especially insidious because you can’t see it or smell it to warn you that there may be some kind of harm.

The site presents a plethora of information documenting the mental, emotional as well as physical health changes of children who are overexposed to cell phones, tablets, and electronic games.

It is the best I’ve come across in the marketplace on the EMF impact on children from a variety of perspectives.

The stunning new condition “Digital Dementia” has been connected to children who have been overusing technology and experience memory loss, distraction, and inability to concentrate.

Equally troubling, is that the number of children now diagnosed with autism seems to be doubling every five years.

This epidemic is exploding exponentially and the only element that parallels this growth is the exposure that children have to electropollution in the form of cell phones, iPads, and tablets and the enormous range of wireless devices now in homes and schools today including smart meters, WiFi, appliances and portable phones.

Digital Dementia Deterrents 

  • Keep kids from carrying their cell phones on their person – keep in a backpack or purse.
  • Replace wireless router with a hard-wired router.
  • Choose hardwire connections at home for linking to the internet and linking computer and printer.
  • Replace cordless phones in your home with corded phones. Having a cordless phone emits more radiation than a cell phone, and acts as a mini tower!
  • Curb kids’ cell phone use during the day. Carry the phones in shielded cases.
  • Unplug all electrical devices like blankets, bed pads or water bed heaters before bed.
  • In the bedroom, put all smartphones and tablets on airplane mode and power down computers and disable wireless routers while sleeping. Keep in mind that light in any of these devices can disrupt melatonin production so critical to deep, uninterrupted sleep. Dim the brightness setting and hold the device at least 15 inches from the face.

Experience Earthing

Earthing wrist bandReclaim your children’s bodies and brains by implementing Earthing products to “ground” the body.

Within 20 -30 minutes, the Earthing/grounding phenomenon creates a stable biochemical environment by preventing external electronic fields from interfering with natural biochemical and bioelectrical functions.  This is the equivalent of going barefoot outdoors on the grass, sand, or ground.Earthing sheet

At your child’s desk or workspace use Earthing Mats to protect against the electromagnetic pollution emitted from computers, telephones and electronic equipment.

Conductive Earthing Sheets and Wrist/Ankle Bands can also be used.

These Earthing products enable the body to reconnect with the earth’s electrons to neutralize free radicals and prevent inflammation, pain, elevated cortisol and neurological dysfunction.

Here’s what one single mom, Donna Z, from Colorado Springs, reported in the latest edition of Earthing:

“My twelve-year-old son is experiencing deeper sleep, more vivid dreams, and a much better sense of wellbeing and calmness.  He has dyslexia…..focus issues, bad gut, and wheat/gluten intolerance but since we’ve been grounding we have seen school grades, moods, coping skills, and reaction to food greatly improved…..This is a profound benefit.  Another mom we know whose son has autistic-type issues has noticed improvements since starting Earthing well.”

Protecting Our Future…

Sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation is the Number One emerging health issue of the 21st century. It is of the utmost urgency that we learn more about it and recognize the diverse symptoms.

Diminished learning, diminished cognition, reaction time and memory accuracy have all been noted in the nervous system of humans following exposure to everyday technology.

Let me conclude by reiterating the mission statement of Cris Rowan’s zonein.ca which I find frighteningly compelling:

Children are the future of our planet. Through modern technology, we have unconsciously created a virtual reality that children call “home”, a reality devoid of connection and human interaction. TV, video games, internet and cell phones are now the teachers of our children, not schools and parents. The result has been an alarming increase in physical, mental, social and academic impairments.

Now is the time to plant the seed for children to learn in a new and conscious way. Teaching children to bring awareness to themselves, so they know who they are, creates a strong healthy foundation for learning. Using their energy in positive productive ways, children learn to create balance and wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

Children are our future, and there is no future in virtual reality.

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 by Cris Rowan (Huffington Post)
Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution by Ann Louise Gittleman (HarperOne, 2010)
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! (2nd Edition) by Clint Ober, Stephen Sinatra and Marty Zucker (Basic Health Publications, 2014)

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Liz

    Thank you Ann Louise. This is such valuable information. I am passing it along to my son and daughter in law. My granddaughter is only a year and a half old and they let her play with the cell phone all the time.

  2. Michael

    thank you for sharing this knowledge for our children.i was clueless.i will share this info with other parents.

  3. Gloria

    Ann Louise: You have been on the forefront of every health concern for decades – and this “digital dementia” is no exception. Good work and thank you for alerting us. I will buy your book and share this with my family and friends.

  4. David

    Ms. Gittleman: I have long suspected that my kids are too involved with their games and videos. I am reprinting your blog for all my kids’ teachers and coaches. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Christel

    Earthing is dangerous in N. America because of the way our electrical system works compared to eg. Europe. Listen to Dave Stetzer talk about the difference between grounding and discharging: http://oneradionetwork.com/health/dave-stetzer-the-difference-between-grounding-the-body-and-discharging-energy-they-are-not-the-same-december-17-2013/
    I would not plug myself into any part of the electrical grid; intuitively, it just doesn’t make sense considering I get massive magnetic fields (Gauss readings) whenever my neighbour uses his professional welder or another neighbour’s electric mower interferes with my radio signal. I did try Earthing, and felt prickly and irritable. I’d rather walk barefoot in the woods.

    • TEAM ALG

      We would certainly recommend walking barefoot wherever it is safe to do so and whenever you can. Walking on the grass in a park or along the wet sand of a beach are prime locations, as is, of course, walking in a grassy backyard, or sitting, with bare feet on the grass in the yard while reading or relaxing. These are the most natural ways to ground yourself and receive Mother Earth’s natural bounty of healing and nurturing energy, activity which humans have been doing throughout virtually all of history.

      Most people, however, can’t or won’t go barefoot outdoors on a regular basis to get the benefits, which include better sleep, more energy, and less inflammation and pain, among other things. The potentially broad benefits to the body that result simply by reconnecting to the Earth – the bare skin of our bodies coming in contact with the “skin of the Earth,” so to speak, are remarkable. In the modern age, we humans have disconnected ourselves with the use of insulating shoes and a lifestyle that separates us from the Earth’s natural, gentle electrical field, and as a result, we appear to be missing a major source of health and healing.

      For more information on this amazing discovery, we highly recommend reading Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! The book was co-authored by well-known cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, M.D., an esteemed friend, colleague, and expert on energy medicine. To familiarize yourself with the growing research behind this discovery we, like Ann Louise has mentioned, also suggest you visit http://www.earthinginstitute.net. At the website, you can find an article on Understanding Earthing that explains some of the issues you may have concerns about.

      For people unable to get outside barefoot, for whatever reason, there is a wonderful alternative in the form of indoor Earthing systems, including conductive sheets, mats, and bands, that transfer the Earth’s energy inside when you make bare skin contact with such systems. They are connected to the ground via a wire. The wire is connected either to a designated ground rod, sunk in the soil outside a nearby window, or into the ground port (third hole) of a power outlet.

      To say that Earthing the body is “dangerous” in North America because of the way our electrical system works is not based in any factual data that I am aware of. Earthing doesn’t “run” on electricity. You don’t plug it into the two electrical slots of a power outlet receptacle. It wouldn’t fit anyway. The Earthing cord has a prong end that fits only into the ground port of the receptacle. If you wish to “ground” yourself inside a house or office by connecting to the ground port of a power outlet in this way, you first check the outlet for a proper ground with a simple outlet checker. Such checkers often are included with Earthing products. They are simple to use. If the house or building is old (built before the 1960s), there may not be a grounding system at all, unless the system was upgraded to meet the National Electrical Code standards requiring grounding. In the case of no ground or an improper ground, you would need a ground rod and an attached cord, and just connect the cord from the Earthing product into the cord from the ground rod. If you have any doubts, just have an electrician check out the outlets for you.

      The comment about magnetic fields is irrelevant. Earthing is not a magnetic concept. It is all about the electric energy in the surface of the planet that is known in the electrical world as “ground” or “earth.”

      Some people feel this energy as tingly. Many people don’t feel anything. We are all different, with different degrees of sensitivity.

  6. Ann Louise

    I am sorry you have been so misinformed. The double blind placebo-controlled studies published in scientific journals as well as the plethora of thermographic before and after “Earthing” imaging, and testimonials from people throughout North America overwhelming supports the safety, efficacy, and therapeutic value of grounding.

    Here is a link to some of the most impressive studies: http://www.earthinginstitute.net/

    I am very familiar with Dave Stetzer’s work and wrote about “dirty electricity” in Zapped so I am well versed in his philosophy. Unfortunately, his Stetzer filters emanated so many EMFS, I had to remove them from the house.

  7. Kathleen

    Thank you for this blog! I am sharing this with my sister because her grandchildren have been using their Apple I_Pads since age 2! My sister, as well as my niece, are not aware of the dangers! I have Earthing bands and I do use them thanks to the information you have given in your book “Zapped” and from your Facebook! You have made me EMF aware.

  8. Maggie

    @Christel: Ann Louise would never write about something that she didn’t use herself. I have been following her work for years and she writes about what she experiences and uses for her own family.

    I wonder if you even read Zapped or her other blogs on Earthing which link to all the latest research? It amazes me that you give credability to an obvious competitor like this Stetzer person who has a vested interest in discrediting Earthing because he has his ownn products to peddle.

  9. Ann Louise

    Children (as well as adults) are also impacted by food cooked in microwave ovens. This Just IN from the Center for Safer Wireless:

    “If you like cooking and want to stay healthy, don’t use a microwave oven if you can avoid it. Microwave ovens use radio frequency radiation(RFR) to cook food. It is the same RFR your cell phone uses, but it is much stronger and doesn’t pulse. When using the microwave oven, RFR is emitted throughout the surrounding area as far away as 15 feet.

    During many of the home radiation assessments that the Center for Safer Wireless has conducted, the microwave oven seals were compromised and leaking an unsafe amount of radiation. You can do this simple test to check your microwave oven. Turn on a cell phone. Put it in the microwave oven and close the door. Call the cell phone. If it rings, the seal is leaking between the door and the oven. If your seal is compromised, clean the seals around the door and redo the test. If the cell phone still rings, do as the instructional manual states when the seal is compromised – “Don’t use it”.

    Most people know not to warm breast milk in a microwave oven because it affects the quality of the milk. In a 1992 Stanford Medical School study, researchers reported a “marked decrease” in immune-boosting factors in microwaved human breast milk. What people often don’t know is there are also a lot of studies showing that using the microwave oven to cook any food impacts the quality of the food. Japanese research, reported in Science News in 1998, found that as little as six minutes of microwave cooking destroyed half of the vitamin B-12 in dairy foods and meat, a much higher rate of destruction than other cooking techniques.

    In the late 1980’s, Swiss scientists reported decreases in hemoglobin and white blood cells in rats that had eaten microwaved food. Russian studies from the 1950’s showed that people who ate microwaved foods had a statistically higher incidence of stomach and intestinal cancers, a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues, and a gradual breakdown of the digestive and excretory systems. The chemical alterations within the food caused their immune systems to weaken. Microwaved milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens, thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances, and carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables. There were also less B, C, E vitamins and essential minerals at a rate of 60 to 90 percent in all foods tested.

    The healthiest way to cook your food is to use your stove. It doesn’t really take much longer to cook your food this way. The big difference is you have to clean a pot or pan afterwards. The health benefit more than makes up for the extra time spent cooking and cleaning the “old fashioned” way.”

  10. Kathleen

    I have sleep problems and since purchasing my Earthing sheet (one mo. ago) with its grounding rod outside my window into the lawn—I HAVE NEVER SLEPT SO WELL!! I also leave my cell phone in the car overnight and it is not in my bedroom because the EMFS prevent me from sleeping. Read “Zapped” by Ann Louise, she did a great job in researching all of this, and I tell you, the Earthing products do work!!


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