You can't hardly watch television without seeing some kind of ad for the latest smart phone, and everyone HAS to have it. I'll admit, I don't have one on my phone, I can talk on it and send and receive texts that's about all I need. But, there are folks who want more out of their phones, hence the ongoing demand for smart phones. Add in the natural rush to get the latest and greatest in the industry, like people standing in lines to get iPhones, and sometimes, one has to wonder.
But, this week, I came across this story on social media about one parent who gave her son the latest and greatest but with a little catch. Here's the story.
Greg Hoffman is a kid who just got an iPhone from his parents. His mom, Janell Hoffman, wrote these rules for its use and young Greg agrees to abide by them:
1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?
2. I will always know the password.
3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say "Hello" - Use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mom" or "Dad". Not ever.
4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone's land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.
5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It's a life skill.
6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.
7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.
8. Do not text, email, or say anything with this phone that you would not say face to face.
9. No porn.
10. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in church, a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.
11. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else's private parts. Don't laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear - including a bad reputation.
12. Don't take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
13. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it.
14. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.
15. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
16. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. There is more to the world than Googling.
17. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.
To me, these rules are a great example of common-sense thinking. It's a shame that Common Sense isn't embraced a little more in our society today.