Mom’s iphone terms to son…My response

An American blogger mother got a lot of attention for giving her son an iphone with a “contract” and a bunch of conditions. http://tinyurl.com/az74og4 It really irked me…

I’m lucky. I too have a 13 year old and also gave him an iphone. I told him to keep it safe, charged and if he’s mugged hand it over. That’s it, the rest he learns himself and like normal human/technology interaction he’ll learn his limits and our expectations. I thought American mom’s contract with her son was so overbearing and interfering it made me want to write a response…See comments underneath, her “terms” are numbered my comments are CAPITALISED. 

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

THATS NOT A GIFT. 

2. I will always know the password.

UNTIL HE’S HOW OLD? MY SON DOESN’T HAVE ONE. 

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.

NO GROWN UP EVER FOLLOWS THIS, WHY SHOULD A KID?

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30 pm every school night and every weekend night at 9:00 pm It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 am. 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.

WTF? HE’S 13 NOT 5 YEARS OF AGE. 

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

YET AGAIN, WHY TREAT HIM DIFFERENTLY TO ADULTS. OF COURSE BRING IT TO SCHOOL AND KEEP IT SWITCHED OFF. 

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. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

NOT FAIR. IN CONDITION 1 YOU SAID ITS YOUR PHONE. WEAK CONTRACT. 

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.

OMG, DOES THIS NEED TO BE IN A PHONE CONTRACT?

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

OK

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

DEAR OH DEAR. 

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person — preferably me or your father.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. ALL TEENAGERS LOOK FOR PORN. EXPLAIN TO HIM THAT PORN IS NOT REAL LIFE. PREVENTING THEM ACCESS IT IS A LOST CAUSE. HE”LL LEARN TO BURN HIS SEARCH DATA. 

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in 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.

GOOD MANNERS ARE GOOD. 

12. 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 despite your high intelligence. 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.

AMEN, SAME DEAL WITH LAPTOPS

13. 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.

LET HIM BE HIMSELF, IF HE IS MANIACAL PICTURE TAKER SO BE IT. HE’S AN INDEPENDENT PERSON, JEEZ.

14. 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. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO (fear of missing out).

AND THEN YOU WANT TO CONTACT HIM AND HE DOESN’T HAVE IT. THIS CONTRACT NEEDS A LAWYER

15. 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.

DON’T LIVE YOUR LIFE THROUGH YOUR SON. MAYBE HE LIKES DAVID GUETTA. 

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

HE’S A BOY, GIVE ME A BREAK.

17. 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. Wonder without googling.

EH, OK.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together. It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone.

YOU GAVE HIM A PHONE AND ALL THIS STUFF TO DIGEST, IF I WAS HIM I’D SAVE UP FOR AN ANDROID AND WATCH PORN AND DO WHAT HE WANTS.