Cell Phones

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b45193b3e4318f12dd85341d57591273I liked this article from Huffington Post so much I thought I’d share it. A mom came up with a brilliant cell contract for her 13-year-old son. I found it convicting for any age. You can read the full article here as well as watch a TV interview.

Here’s what’s on her list:

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 7:30 p.m. every school night and every weekend night at 9:00 p.m. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 a.m. 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. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

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 through this device you would not say in person.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

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.

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.

Great stuff, right? I liked 13, 14 and 17. What about you? Just recently, a friend told me her friends like to place their phones in the center of the table while out to dinner. The first one to answer a call or text owes the table a round. I like it! Let’s be together when we are together.

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12 responses to “Cell Phones”

  1. Jason Brown says:

    I liked #18. That’s the type of parent I want to be.

  2. CR says:

    These are all great reminders. Phones have really become like a third arm for us, right?

  3. jenni says:

    I LOVE it! I can actually hear my mom saying number 1. “It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?.” I am pretty sure she said just that when I was under her wing. Tim and I try to leave our phone in the car when we are on a date. But then we starting taking 1 phone because we would often find that we waned to take a picture:) But we are trying to be better about not being on our phone while others are around. It never used to be hard for me to do but now with life being so busy I feel like I am always on it trying to keep up with email for work and school. This write up was a really good reminder of the importance of being present and not letting technology rule your thoughts,

    • Glad you liked it, too! I like the idea of leaving the phone in the car on a date. I feel like when you’re first dating, it’s pretty understood that the phone is a no-no on a date. But you are right, why should that stop in the first stage? Great practice no matter how long you’ve been married! Thanks for sharing, Jenni!

  4. Alecia says:

    Loved # 5. Conversation is a life skill. Such a novel idea. Nice to see parents doing their job, training up the child in the way he should go, so when he is old he will not be a jerk. (Loose paraphrase of Prov. 22:6)

  5. Just shared it with my son… thank you!

  6. i LOVE this. I think even people without kids should abide by the majority of these rules…. phones shouldn’t dictate our lives!! I often leave mine at home…. it’s so liberating!!!!!!!!

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