Here is a time when we are engrossed with the iPhone craze along with cool iPhone accessories you can find online and it looks like technology has been astute in buying our souls. Behold the emoji generation! We are so into the buzz. And almost every necessity can be done via the iPhone. For an individual who cannot get a firm grip on the iPhone obsession, it is easy to lose touch with reality, the immediate world, and mix priorities. Consequently, shackles like cyberbullying, pornography addiction, and internet addiction have stifled individuals’ development and sometimes deprive purpose.
Fearing the negative impact from using the Phone, a mother has written a contract to her teenage son. The contract is to disclose the terms for using her iPhone and to warn him of the trap that usually besets obsessed users in the name of being in vogue. Janell Burley Hofmann, in an emotional letter, brilliantly takes on issues attached to possessing a powerful piece of technology like the iPhone.
In the 18 points contract, she outlines the importance of social etiquettes and gripping life lessons that have the classic advisory tone of a mother to her young and innocent teenage son. Here is a breakdown of the Mom’s iPhone Contract with her teenage Son.
A mother’s protectionism
At the beginning of the contract, she hopes that the 13 year old would understand it is her duty to “to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.” Asserting her authority further, she states that the implication of noncompliance with the contract’s terms is the termination of his iPhone ownership. The first point perfectly summarizes her position- “It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?”.
Mothers can be protective and it could be perceived as overprotection by their children. This has something to do with the dynamics of the mother-child relationship, and sometimes it shapes communication. “I will always know the password” comes off as being too protective but it affirms the mother’s position as the arch benefactor of the gift, the ethical police and it is totally down to her discretion how the son relates with it.
“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” Even in the family, absolute privacy is a tough ask.
Etiquettes mold gentlemen. It is the stuff of chivalry. The mother wants him to “listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.” In a “morally bankrupt” generation where respect is decadent, seeing others as humans and tolerating cultural differences will give the 13 year old a well-rounded perspective about life.
Deception and greed have sealed solid a partnership in wrecking relationships peddled on the iPhone. She instructs the 13 year old “not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being.” She tells him to nurture real relationships, not just the digital ones. In fact, she asserted they are both compatible- “Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.” “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”. The iPhone effect prompts in society, a form of social detachment because obsessed users’ world revolve around the smartphone.
The mother continues to admonish Gregory, her 13-year-old, as she discusses taking responsibilities for actions. “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.” It is a lesson for us all. Mistakes are inevitable. When they occur, we ought to own them and not resign to fate.
The internet is great but vices and evils lurk in the dark
Pornography addiction, cyberbullying, internet addiction and other ills can have almost irreparable damage to individual’s wellbeing. Smartphones, no doubt, have constituted immensely to the decadence as much as physical interaction and communications have been severed. She enunciates further inadvertently warning against cyberbullying:“do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.”
In her call for discipline, a resolute antidote of the vices, it can all be summarized with as “censor yourself”. Addictions are uncontrolled habits and not to get to that deplorable state, censoring oneself is powerful. It saves.
In conclusion, she affirms her love for Gregory and hopes he agrees to the contract. She maintained that the lessons aren’t necessarily for owing the iPhone alone. They apply to life.