Some mental health-conscious Apple shareholders are trying to encourage the tech giant to research the effects of excessive iPhone use on childhood development, but not everyone who invests in the company shares their concerns. “Truth is we like investing in things that are addicting,” tweeted Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth, yesterday, along with hashtag ticker symbols for Starbucks, MGM Resorts, and alcohol company Constellation Brands.
— Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki) January 8, 2018
Gerber posted the tweet along with a Reuters story in which he was quoted saying the same thing. While he was probably trying to be funny, the shareholders who wrote an open letter to Apple last week say that their concerns are well-founded, stemming from a growing body of research that shows a link between increased smartphone use and growing rates of teen anxiety and depression.
Social media companies have also been criticized for their role—to the extent that Facebook felt the need to clarify the difference between “good” and “bad” ways to use social media in a recent blog post.
Apple, for its part, has responded to the criticism by vowing to introduce more parental control features, although it declined to be specific. In the meantime, Gerber points out another causal link he thinks Apple investors should be concerned with: the one between addictive products and profits. “Addictive things are very profitable,” he told Reuters.