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Sometimes, you can find warning signs about that thing you’re about to acquire/do — maybe not-so-little indicators that what you want may not be all that great or healthy.

First off, take a good look at the seller. Purists may say I am committing a few ad hominem fallacies, but consider the following:

The drug dealer whose major forms of rest and relaxation are clean-living and non-chemical.

The new car salesperson whose own vehicle is a different brand from the ones on the lot.

The barbecue chef/guru who’s a vegetarian.

The tobacco public relations executive who doesn’t smoke.

The eye surgeon who wants to perform a new high-tech laser surgery on you but who wears glasses “because my eyes are too valuable to mess with” (true story).

The big-screen TV salesperson with no TV and a giant library in their house.

You might also take a look at the way someone handle their children.

The pro football player who won’t let their kids anywhere near the gridiron.

The candy store entrepreneur whose children are off to the side munching on carrots out of a little Tupperware container.

The casino owner who won’t even let their progeny play Monopoly.

Cast a wary eye! Many folks in the tech sector, including some of the most famous and highest-ranking, appear to limit their kids’ screen time. It seems that, to them, this is just common sense.

So for instance, when Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber, point out that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs limited their own kids screen time, more people should have taken notice.

Finally, some are starting to pay attention. For instance, CNN Money reported that two “heavyweight investors” are “pressuring” Apple “to take a stronger stance on the mental health effects of excessive smartphone use by children and teenagers.”

This seems right. If you’re taking a strong stance in your own house about the product you sell — “Hey kids, no meth for you!” — you ought to consider how it affects your customers — and their children.

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.

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