Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, says that he did not permit his children to own a mobile phone until they turned 14.
Gates made the revelation during an interview on Thursday with the British newspaper, The Mirror.
Not only does Gates force his kids to wait until age 14 to get a smartphone, but he also limits the amount of time they could use them before going to bed. Smartphones are also banned from the dinner table.
“We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour,’he told The Mirror. Gates and his wife, Melinda, are parents to Jennifer, 20; Rory, 17; and Phoebe, 14.
Despite the irony of Gates playing a pivotal role in the technological revolution of the digital age, he still thinks limits need to be in place for children.
“You’re always looking at how it can be used in a great way – homework and staying in touch with friends – and also where it has gotten to excess,’ he said of smartphones and social media.
‘We don’t have cellphones at the table when we are having a meal, we didn’t give our kids cellphones until they were 14 and they complained other kids got them earlier.’
The Mirror reports that during its interview with Gates, he was wearing a Casio watch worth $10.