Most of us have had to deal with phone contracts but most contracts come from our telecommunications company, not our mothers.
Janell Burley Hoffman has made news around the world by issuing her 13 year old son with an 18 point contract along with his Christmas gift of a new iPhone.
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.
The contract is full of rules to govern the use of the phone, including a reminder that it’s mum who pays the bills and she will control the phone.
Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
Most of the rules are just good common sense and would be useful for everyone who owns a smart phone. In fact, many of the rules apply to a range of areas in life and remind us that people are more important than ‘things’.
Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.
Rapid advances in technology often mean that good guidelines for using new technology lag behind their availability. However, this mum has reminded us that manners and simple common sense go a long way in whatever new situation we find ourselves.
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.
Parents around the world are hailing the contract as a return to common sense. It’s a reminder that when we hand over a new responsibility we, as parents, still get to decide how far that responsibility stretches. Just because a smart phone is full of features, it doesn’t mean that every feature should become immediately available to a young person. The contract is a great mix of compulsory rules and an encouragement to develop self-discipline.
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.
A lot of parents have been asking if they can use the contract for their own children. Janell Burley Hoffman has responded via her Twitter account, “To all that have messaged about using “the contract” in your home for your family, go for it!”
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.
What do you think of the contract? Would you hand someone a contract like that?
Do you think that there are guidelines in the contract that we could all do well to follow? What other rules do you think should govern the use of smart phones for everyone, not just children?
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