Thursday, 3 January 2013

iPhone Contract

I am pretty sure most of us have begged our parents for an iPhone. Some of them obliged after months of persuasion others would not even flinch. And some use terms and conditions. Recently, in the United States, a 13 year old was encountering the same problem with his mother. However, on his birthday, his mom obliged and bought him his very own iPhone. But along with this iPhone came a "contract".

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. 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.
4. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO (fear of missing out).
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. Wonder without 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 and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

This particular "contract" was picked up by apple and is now in their monthly magazine for January. It is also on a popular blog known as "Huff Post: Screen Sense". I was shown this by my mother and yes some of these terms do apply to my iPhone. If you are one of these kids who are just begging for an iPhone and still have had no luck. Show your parents this contract it might just change the minds of your parents.


  1. I think that the music rule is awful. Yes mainstream music can become a bit tedious due to the fact that the large majority is listening to it, but if you enjoy that type of music, then why can't you listen to it? Music taste is up to personal choice, you cannot force someone to enjoy one type of music. Music is an art form that only you can understand whether you enjoy one type or not.

    1. I agree with you, although I don't have an ipod or an iphone. I've got an MP3 player, but still. Why can this contract decide wich music you can listen to? I get the concept of them wanting to be different, but what if the music everyone likes is the one you like? It's called taste, apple...

  2. After looking at this post, from a 13 year old perspective, I think this contract is ridiculous. Adults should understand why we want a phone in the first place. Right now I have a a really old Nokia model, which is way outdated. And yes, I too have been begging for an Iphone, and I might get one as a birthday gift- but they do come with terms and conditions. The reason we want such an expensive phone in the first place is because "Everyone" has one. And we want to be "Cool" and "Fit in". Before in the olden days, having a telephone booth in your neighborhood was such a luxury. But now it has evolved, and parents should grow along with evolution as well.

  3. This contract seems really strict and all, so many rules. I'm not sure if I would use it or not. It's been my wish for the past 2 years to get an iPhone and I've been begging my parents. I think I would modify a few things before giving this contract to them. I would change Rule #3 because my parents give me a lot of freedom to communicate online and I would definitely change Rule #5, #12 and #13 because I need my phone to communicate with others. Technology has given us a way to communicate easier. After all, I don't touch my phone unless I really need it. It's okay to take photos, I don't think that we should be prevented from it.

    Do you completely agree with this contract?

  4. My dad mentioned this to me the other day very briefly. I overheard my dad talk about some phone contract with my mum and I was quite excited about this since I thought it was a phone 'contract' that allowed me to have my own hotspot and use my phone anywhere. After I read this post I finally know what they were talking about and I am quite surprised. The contract is very harsh and I couldn't imagine if this applied to me but I am very interested in getting an iPhone 5 and I would like to see what my parents have to say when I show them this!!