Nov 19, 2018

Axios PM

Mike Allen

Good afternoon. Two work days until 🦃.

1 big thing: The war on screen time

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Your kids use their phones too much. You probably do too.

The big picture: Parents and kids alike are working on a culture that allows the healthy adoption and use of mobile devices and screens, while ensuring kids stay active and able to focus on less immersive tasks, the AP's Martha Irvine reports.

  • Even Big Tech cautions against our compulsive behavior. Apple CEO Tim Cook told "Axios on HBO" that he used to pick up his iPhone too much, but has reduced his notifications: "The number of times I pick up a device are declining."

What's next: A rush of apps and services promises to help people manage their screen time.

  • Apple has "Screen Time" in the new version of iOS.
  • Google has added digital wellbeing tools to the latest version of Android and also has "Family Link," a parental controls app. There are also a number of third-party apps that work with Android, such as ZenScreen, a service that catalogues how phones are used and allows users to pause apps that are becoming time sucks.
  • Amazon has a well-regarded set of parental controls built into its Fire line of tablets

Between the lines: Parents are recycling the same methods their folks used in the era of radio, television and landlines.

  • No video games on school nights.
  • No cell phones before homework is done
  • No phones at the dinner table.
  • No screens in the bedroom.
  • A nightly wifi curfew, with help from ISPs that allow the internet to be locked down on a timer.
  • Parents are also delaying getting their kids screens and phones, hoping that waiting until after elementary school helps kids avoid getting too hooked. 95% of American teens 13-17 have their own mobile device, per a survey released this year.

Between the lines: "There's a big difference between just kind of flipping on the TV when you need a few minutes of downtime and turning on whatever, and really thinking about what is going to be the best time for media today and how can I make the best choice," PBS exec Sara DeWitt told Axios' Ina Fried last year.

The bottom line: Your kids are watching your example. All the teaching and good faith efforts in the world are moot if kids grow up being ignored by their screen-glued parents. Put down the phone and talk to your family.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Peas and Carrots, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate, are shown to members of the media during a press conference held by the National Turkey Federation in Washington. The two turkeys will both be "pardoned" following the presentation of the national turkey to President Trump.

2. What you missed
  1. More tough stock news for tech: The Dow fell nearly 400 points today, with the NASDAQ down 3%. Facebook was down nearly 6%, Amazon 5%, Apple 4%, and Microsoft 3%.
  2. The White House has restored Jim Acosta's press pass. CNN in a statement: "As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House." Go deeper.
  3. No more comedian: Author Ron Chernow will be the featured speaker at next year's White House Correspondents' dinner on April 27. Go deeper.
  4. Facing a rape accusation, the billionaire CEO of will shift his primary responsibilities away from the Chinese giant's main e-commerce arm. Read more.
  5. The anti-Pelosi caucus: Sixteen current and incoming House Democrats have signed and released a letter stating that they are "committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House floor." Go deeper.
  6. Israel is expected to withdraw from the UN Global Compact on Migration after requests from the U.S. and Hungary. Go deeper.
3. 1 Taylor thing
Screenshot: Instagram

"Pop superstar Taylor Swift chose Vivendi SA’s Universal Music for her hotly sought-after new multiyear contract, making the record group the exclusive worldwide partner of one of the planet’s biggest artists," Bloomberg reports.

  • “It’s really important to me to see eye to eye with a label regarding the future of our industry,” Swift said on Instagram. “I feel so motivated by new opportunities created by the streaming world and the ever changing landscape of our industry.”

Go deeper: The music industry's 9-figure war for Taylor Swift

Mike Allen