Olympic Medalist Sky Brown Endorses Gabb
SEP 02, 2021
Olympic Medalist Sky Brown Endorses Gabb
When you think Nike, you think Michael Jordan. When you think of Tiger Woods, you think of TaylorMade. When it comes to basketball, a professional like Michael Jordan knows what he’s talking about. So if Michael Jordan tells you to go buy the new Nike athletic shoe—that it will help you move faster, jump higher, and play better—you go out and buy the new Nike athletic shoe.
Perhaps the same result will come from the latest celebrity endorsement for kid’s tech. The most recent female skateboarder to win the bronze medal at the 2020 summer Olympics is a 13-year-old by the name of Sky Brown. While other pre-teens are texting, playing video games, and scrolling through social media, Sky has spoken out for Gabb—the tech company making simple, safe devices for kids—telling youth to “put down your screens and go out and do cool stuff.”
Gabb leads the cause to deliver safe tech for kids and inspire a more active, screen-free lifestyle. Since its establishment in 2018, Gabb has teamed up with partners and affiliates who also strive to connect and protect kids while promoting tech-healthy living. Gabb’s latest exciting partnership with Sky Brown, the world-renowned female skateboarder extraordinaire, further constitutes the brand as an advocate for kids’ health and well-being.
Brown’s partnership with Gabb further moves the mission to encourage life beyond the screen for kids. A true ambassador of active, screen-free living, Brown is the Michael Jordan of female skateboarding. For any kid looking to excel at what they love-and not bombard themselves with the struggles of tech addiction—they would do well to listen to Sky Brown. And Sky Brown is saying: “Don’t waste your life staring at a screen.”
The unfortunate reality is that kids these days are spending most of their leisure time doing just that. Statistics reveal that “the modern teen spends an average of 7 hours 22 minutes every day in front of a screen outside of school work” (Common Sense Media, 2019). Consequently, studies also show that “teens are 2x more likely to be diagnosed with depression if they spend more than 7 hrs/day on devices” (Common Sense Media, 2019).
There are only so many hours in the day. If the average teen spends most of their free time with technology and struggling with the emotional, social, and mental consequences of their unhealthy tech habits, they are unlikely to spend time investing in any hobbies or developing personal skills.
Where does this road lead? Mindless activities and passive habits as youth inevitably lead to passivity and mindlessness in adulthood. This is a frightening trajectory for our current generation. Considering the average amount of time already spent using technology in a single day, before too long, this generation will mature and venture out into the adult world. They will remain glued to their phones and video games, without ever having really learned how to carry a stimulating conversation. They will not know how to maintain real-life, personable relationships. With on-demand entertainment and distraction constantly at their fingertips, they will have completely lost the skills of creativity and innovation.
Is this what we want for our children?
Kids need to go back to the basics. They need the time back in their day to discover their passions and devote themselves to enhancing their talents.
Gabb is fulfilling a very specific need in the world of tech. Providing safe tech for kids only scratches the surface of what truly makes Gabb unique. The foundation of Gabb is built upon four key values that define the brand, and drives their effort towards a more balanced world for kids:
Kids have a right to be protected. Modern technology comes with ready access to internet browsers, app stores, and social media platforms; all breeding grounds for dangerous and potentially life-threatening addictions and interactions. Kids don’t need this in their lives. More than that, they must be protected from it. Addictions, adult content, and dangerous interactions with strangers have no place in the lives of children. The additives to modern technology are destroying the innocence of our children and preventing them from enjoying a rich and simple childhood.
Kids should be allowed to be kids. The modern parent can easily remember their childhood. Not too long ago, they were enjoying adolescent freedom for themselves. Riding bikes, climbing trees, building forts, summer water park days, sports practice, and theater camp. It was easy to enjoy a simple childhood before the rise of smart technology. The world has drastically changed since then, true, but that does not need to inhibit the possibility of a simple and free childhood for our children today.
Connecting with family and friends is key to a happy life. Human connection is an innate and fundamental need for an individual. For children, that connection is vital for their emotional health and overall development. By over engaging in faceless interaction through technology, children steal away the personal relationships that they so desperately need. Families are losing touch with one another. Parents come to feel estranged from their children. Children live privately inside of their technology, even reaching a point where they feel unable to open up to their parents. This cannot happen. Children need that connection with their families.
Connection happens in person and through technology. Kids can build and maintain healthy relationships in both ways, so long as a balance is struck between the two. A child who only interacts with people via online gaming or social media messaging will struggle to transfer those social skills to real-life friendships.
Educating & Empowering Parents
The modern parent deserves support and resourceful information. This digital age came in full force and without a how-to guide for new parents. More than a kids technology company, Gabb has established a network and support system of like-minded parents, providing the education and reinforcement they need to be successful in raising the next generation.
Graduate kids to more tech autonomy as they mature. Just as kids start with “G” or “PG” rated feature films, the same principle should apply in this new digital age. Technology should have similar options for kids as there are for adults. Parents should be confident in the safety of their children with the technology they purchase for them. And as that child matures, parents should have options for new tech best suited for the child stage of tech-readiness.
Live Beyond the Screen
Distraction is the thief of opportunity. Distractions come in many forms, but for kids in this exciting era of new technology, their primary source of distraction fits right into their pocket. In one swift motion and within seconds, kids are tuned in to their devices and completely tuned out to everything else around them. Obviously, kids can replace excessive screen time with more rewarding and worthwhile activities. More so, the more time kids spend distracted with technology, the more opportunities they miss. Imagine missing out on a life-changing opportunity because, at that moment, you were preoccupied with your smartphone. When they pass by, those moments are gone for good. Kids deserve every chance to take hold of the opportunities that will shape their character without the interference of smart devices.
Enjoy first-hand experiences. Put the phone down. Turn off the television. Unplug and do something worthwhile. Kids deserve every chance to participate in different activities; to find what they love and pursue excellence.
Gabb had the right idea when partnering with Sky Brown. She is the epitome of Gabb’s motto to “live beyond the screen”. When it comes to putting down their tech, and devoting their time to more rewarding activities, kids can look to Sky Brown as the ultimate youth role model.
Sky began skateboarding at the age of three. Rather than with a professional instructor, Sky took to instructional videos to develop her craft. By age seven, Brown was already making a name for herself in competitive skateboarding, taking third place at Exposure, the largest worldwide girls skateboarding competition. Sky continued to break records as she progressed.
The year following Exposure, at the age of eight, Brown participated in the Vans U.S. Open, becoming the youngest skateboarder to ever compete at the event. It took only two more years for Brown to achieve professional status in the world of skateboarding. By the age of ten, Sky had already placed at several world championships, making history by becoming the first female to achieve a “frontside 540” at the X Games.
Sky’s dedication and success has not been met without challenges. In the summer of 2020 during a routine training session, Sky Brown suffered a harrowing fall that left her hospitalized. Bridging the gap between two large ramps, Sky came off her skateboard mid-air, falling from a height of around 15 meters onto flat concrete, and landing on her arm. Her parents were afraid for her life as she was taken by helicopter to the hospital.
Sky’s injuries were extensive: multiple fractures to her skull, a broken left arm (in pieces as she used it to break her fall), broken right fingers, and lacerations to her heart and lungs.
Sky’s dad recalls the traumatic experience: “I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness, waiting for the helicopter to take her to the hospital.”
“We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.”
“Doctors described the way she was recovering from the traumatic fall as a ‘miracle,’ putting it down to her ‘grit, positivity, and attitude’.”
It has been just over one year since Sky’s life-threatening accident, and her new credentials speak for themselves. This past year, after undergoing a complete recovery, Sky took home the gold medal for the women’s skateboard park at the 2021 Summer X Games. Sky Brown has maintained her #3 world ranking for female skateboarding after competing in the 2020 Japan Olympics and taking home the bronze medal.
Now, does every kid need to medal at the Olympics to feel accomplished? Of course not. Do they fail for not achieving celebrity status in their chosen field? Definitely not. The purpose is not to break a world record or earn millions of dollars. Kids simply need to find something they love and do it. Invest in it. Dedicate their time to it. Allow it to improve their work ethic, their focus, their drive. Allow it to make them more developed individuals. This is what every child can and should do to become a well-rounded adult.
This is what kids are missing when they pick up a device and spend hours of their day in front of a screen. What skills are they developing? What life-valuable lessons are they learning? How are social media and video games teaching them to become better people or preparing them for the future?
Technology is a valuable tool. And inevitably, kids will need to establish a healthy relationship with tech in order to succeed in this hyper-tech world. But all in due time. The best way to ensure a child’s future is to afford them every opportunity for growth outside of technology, and all the distractions that come with it.
“A new study from UBC researchers finds that teens, especially girls, have better mental health when they spend more time taking part in extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and less time in front of screens” (University of British Columbia, 2020).
Sky Brown’s father spoke on the healthy tech habits maintained in their home:
“People say she does a lot of Instagramming, but we really limit her social media. Her sponsors hate it, but it’s something we’ve kept as a family. We often do a month where none of us touch our phones.”
Sky Brown and Gabb are encouraging kids to enjoy being kids; to find joy in fun and exciting things without any dependence on technology.
The Achievable Goal
It’s absolutely true: the tech industry does not provide many device options made especially for kids. To stay connected throughout their busy day, parents turn to the popular norm by purchasing a standard smartphone for their kids. Before they know it, the last thing their kids are using the smartphone for is the connection, but more for Internet browsing, social media apps, group texting, and games.
Gabb is putting an end to this parental struggle. Gabb provides solutions to the concern of tech addiction by simplifying technology for kids and advocating for more time away from screens. Gabb has proven to reduce a kid’s daily screen time by 80%. With so much recovered time in the day, kids can thrive by being active, devote extra time to their talents and ambitions, and enjoy being kids.
Like Sky Brown, kids with a greater focus on their ambitions-without the distractions of technology-have every capability to achieve great things. Brown’s motto of “less screen time, more skate time” can be applied to every kid with an ambition for success. The work of Gabb and partner Sky Brown is to exemplify the benefits of simplified technology use, and to show kids around the world how you can achieve your dreams when you “live beyond the screen”.
Common Sense (2019). The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens. commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/uploads/research/2019-census-8-to-18-full-report-updated.pdf
University of British Columbia (2020, November 2). Teens who participate in extracurriculars, get less screen time, have better mental health. Science Daily.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201102124849.htm