The chief executive of Snapchat has revealed that his own family is subject to strict screen time limits – much like the ones he himself grew up with.
Evan Spiegel, who created the popular photo-sharing app in 2011, said that his 7-year-old stepson Flynn is only allowed to use computers and smartphones for 90 minutes per week, or 12 minutes a day on average.
Snapchat has been criticised by parents and children's advocates for habit-forming design which leads young people to spend hours sending and receiving selfies and photos with their friends.
A teenager cited in one study spend 3.3 hours on Snapchat, 2.5 hours on Instagram, 2.4 hours on Whatsapp and two hours on Facetime in one single 24-hour period, despite expert advice that children be limited to less than two hours each day.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Spiegel described how his parents did not let him watch TV until he was "almost a teenager", which was "a little tricky" but ended up being "valuable".
"I think the more interesting conversation to have is really around the quality of that screen time," he said, adding that parents needed to set an example by reducing their own phone usage so that children were not just "looking at the black back of the phone".
Spiegel is married to the Australian model Miranda Kerr, and Flynn is her son from a previous marriage.
Numerous other tech leaders have spoken about limiting or moderating the time their children spend with the products they create, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai and Apple's chief executive Tim Cook.
Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi has said there are "no devices" allowed in the room during dinner time, and allows her young son to earn extra minutes of screen time through good behaviour.
An increasing number of Silicon Valley parents are stipulating that their nannies do not use mobile phones in front of their children to avoid encouraging them, while the Waldorf School, attended by many children of Apple and Google, believes that children should not be exposed to technology before the age of 12.
Spiegel also offered cautious praise for the "philosophical approach" to regulation shown by the EU – a hint that he may back efforts to pass a privacy law for the US that draws on Europe's GDPR.
Snapchat denies that it designs its products to be addictive, saying that it wants to encourage people to develop positive and meaningful relationships with each other online.