Dealing with smartphone contracts through your cell phone provider can already be a hassle. But what if you had to sign another iPhone contract – one that your parents wrote for you?
Well, that’s the story for one 13-year-old boy, who got a smartphone for Christmas along with an iPhone contract of 18 rules that were written by his mom. The story has generated some debate, and I want to know what you guys think.
I feel like if my parents handed me this particular contract when they gave me a phone, I would just be like “OKAY, YEAH, WHATEVER, I SIGN, LET ME PLAY ANGRY BIRDS NOW!” Then later when I actually read through the rules, I know that to a few of them, teen me would have said “WTF?” (in my head of course, as my mom would not be happy with that language).
According to a few of the rules, her son can’t bring it to school, shouldn’t have it out in public and he also should be cool with leaving it at home a lot of the time. For that last one, the mom tells her son not be worried about having FOMO (props to this mom for knowing what that is!) if he doesn’t have his phone. I think teenager Meg would be more worried about having FONGMAP or “fear of nobody getting me after practice,” and I’m actually pretty sure that is the only reason my parents even bought me a cell phone as a teen.
If my parents tried to lay out when and where I could use my iPhone, regardless of their good intentions, I think the first message I’d take away is “You don’t trust me to be responsible.” The mom who wrote the contract has said that she hasn’t gotten that response from her son, but she has from other people commenting on her rules.Also, it feels like a couple of the contract points aren’t necessarily safety or time-sensitive things, but veer a little more into “how to live your life” territory, such as the points to download a variety of music and still appreciate the outdoors. I mean, most kids will be doing all of those things anyway without their parents including it in a written contract. I could totally see how teens could feel micromanaged by rules that seem a bit overboard.
Still, in the grand scheme of the contract, I do think this mom here offers talking points on some important topics that maybe aren’t at the front of every teen’s mind. Things like the consequences of taking naked pictures or not walking around with your eyes glued to your phone (which can be really dangerous).
As much as I could see my teen self being totally offended by my mom handing me this iPhone contract, I totally feel for this mom. If you’ve ever babysat, you know the kind of panic there is when you realize all of the things that could go wrong. I imagine for parents it is like that every single day and you just want to keep your kids safe and also well-rounded. Different things work for different families, and if this iPhone contract works well for them, then awesome.
Personally, I know I’m going to be a totally overprotective mom. It’s just my personality. I pledge now though to keep in mind that when future mom Meg is writing up a list of phone rules (or by that point, who knows what technology we will have), I will take a second to consider how teen Meg would have felt about the whole thing and proceed from there so everyone in my family is happy.
Do you agree with some of the rules in this iPhone contract? Did your parents make you sign some kind of contract before getting your smartphone? If your parents gave you these rules about how to use your iPhone, what would you say? Tell us in the comments!