April 15th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
5 years ago

Obamas limit time first daughters spend online

Michelle Obama limits the amount of time the first family spends online, she said Wednesday in an interview with CNN.
Michelle Obama limits the amount of time the first family spends online, she said Wednesday in an interview with CNN.

Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama revealed Wednesday that there are strict rules on the use of technology within the walls of the White House's East Wing - at least during the week and only if your name is "Sasha" or "Malia."

"[I]n my household, you know, we try to establish a set of guidelines and rules that make sense - no computers, phones, television during the week," the first lady said Wednesday in an interview with CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Lopez that aired on CNN's The Situation Room.

Obama called the question of how much technology is too much a generational issue, but said educators and parents are beginning to understand the unique challenges posed by the Internet and social networking platforms.

"We talk a lot with [our daughters] about the dangers of Facebook and sort of getting into that social networking kind of gossip mill or, you know, that - that comes from those activities," the first lady said, "[W]e spend a lot of time talking to our kids. And fortunately, more schools are understanding the challenges and they're doing more to educate families, as well as parents and children, about the pros and cons of excessive use of the Internet and all these new networking technologies."

Obama is in Mexico as part of her first solo official trip as first lady. On Wednesday morning, Obama met with Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala at Los Pinos, the Mexican president's residency. Other events on her itinerary included a tour of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology) and a public elementary school that serves local low-income students.

On Tuesday, she made a surprise visit to the earthquake ravaged nation of Haiti.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • Obama family • Popular Posts • Social Media
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Good for the Obamas! There is no doubt that our children spend way too much time online, sitting around, watching TV. Hence, the rise in childhood obesity.

    Thanks to President & Mrs. Obama for being wonderful role models.
    God bless & keep you, safe!

    April 15, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. shucks

    What a delight to have such an intelligent, well spoken first lady. She is what a first lady should be. Keep up the good work. You do make us proud that you are a representative of the people.

    April 15, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Marty

    Yawn! Nice publicity shot. Got any real news?

    April 15, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. MAD IN TEXAS

    Goodbye incumbents the Tea Party has arrived. Be scared Obama followers.

    April 15, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. AvgJoe

    That is pretty bad.

    April 15, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I am so very proud of this First Family. We are lucky to have such a couple serving as role models for us all..

    April 15, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. BR

    Excellent idea, First Lady! Thanks for sharing with us. I thought I was fanatic thinking about limiting my kids on use of technology. Too much use of technology is keeping our kids away from the focus of education and family time.

    Amazing first family!

    April 15, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Anne

    Their oldest is getting towards an age where the "Do as I say, not as I do" rules aren't going to cut it anymore.

    April 15, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Luis Vazquez

    I am a republican and i don't like many of the policies that Obama has brought to the presidency but i do like and commend him and Michelle and the way they run their household and the example they are to all Americans.

    April 15, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Bill

    How interesting.

    April 15, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. CBR

    Wish more families would do that. Children need to have some time away from the computer and television during the week. It would be great if every child came to school rested and ready to learn every school day.

    April 15, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. ladynaava

    Michelle's rules sound sensible, however there really isn't any info here as to what the rules actually are. It would be cool if there was more detail to this.

    April 15, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Lucyna

    I don't care what anybody, especially opposition, will say, but President Obama's family is a true model for the rest of us. Thanks God we have them in the White House.

    April 15, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. ted

    Michelle and Barack Obama are very good role models for parents today. Limiting TV and all the rest of the nonsense and focusing on preparing their daughters for higher education and putting education first is excellent.

    April 15, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Dva

    My daughter and husband have three daughters and have followed the same guidelines with them. Friday night is family night and they can all enjoy it together. It is second nature to the girls and they do not question the rules (however there are occasions, ie, American Idol and Glee). They do get to see some of the episodes but not all. They are all exceptional students, honor grades and are involved in sports, swimming, soccer on a regular basis. I applaud the Obamas and find it comforting that they share this.

    April 15, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. branecia

    Good way to start and still be aware of what you kids are doing I am pretty sure Mrs. Obama has it all in order-thanks for caring about kids.you and hubbie are marvelous parents, and others to , I am sure both parents will handle their duties as parents for they still have who"GRANDMA" there also & I am pretty sure she cracks a mean whip to in raising the girls keeping them in order & etc. & yeah sometimes it is not easy for any parent, for we all go thru the same issues with a certain age group in life but are prepared for it or should be.

    April 15, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Linda

    A very smart and classy lady!

    April 15, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Michele

    These two are wonderful parents...and great role models for Americans.

    April 15, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. Barbara - Atlanta

    The First Family is such a breath of fresh air.

    April 15, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Wireless Joe

    How "socialist"! Limiting kids time on the internet; next thing you know these "pinkos" will ban texting! Only a "Tea Partier" could find something to object to in this piece. Kudos Michelle and I'll bet Malia and Sasha can even carry a conversation. How remarkable.

    April 15, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Babe

    All parents should be talking to their kids about Internet use and particularly social media. Unfortunately, although kudos goes to Michelle Obama, most parents are not savvy enough to do so. To fill in this gap, the schools must take up the slack. To eschew this responsibility is not only unwise but can be dangerous, as we have already seen in the bullying and violence, resulting even in suicides. The other appalling and illegal behavior must be addressed. At the least, students have no sense of how social media works and how it can impact their lives not only in the present but the future if they engage in behavior that can be viewed by admissions people at colleges, future employers, and others. It is not too soon to begin educating our kids in elementary school. Learning to turn on a computer is not enough. The power of the Internet requires that its users be educated.

    April 15, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. philojazz

    It is such a pleasure to have a First Family made up of such intelligent and civilized people for a change!!

    (now, if some previous First Families had had similar rules....for example, limiting time spent consulting Karl Rove or astrologers...)

    April 15, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. NotFooledTX

    Good for them. They're actually parenting. I wish more would follow their lead.

    April 15, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  24. Randy

    Is he seriously reading green eggs and ham? Oh yeah, with the nanny state he is creating he can't let the girls read it for themselves. The funny thing is it looks like he is reading a grand story, and the cover isn't open. It's just a photo op as always.

    April 15, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Sia

    This is great. I wish my parents would have limited how much time we wasted with technology when I was growing up. I should have spent more time outside playing or making friends. Have you ever met someone who has lost their phone and seen how messed up and confused they were? People can barely survive without technology nowadays.

    April 15, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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