Everything You Need To Know About iPhone Etiquette Is In A Mom's Letter To Her 13-Year-Old Son

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Greg Hofmann finally received an iPhone for Christmas, but it came with a long list of terms and conditions.

His mother, a blogger named Janelle Hofmann, wrote up an 18-rule contract for the 13-year-old. If he doesn't obey each line item, his phone will be taken away.

"Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone," her letter began. "Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations."

Greg initially felt (of course) embarrassed.

"Oh my God. My first reaction was, 'Why? Why did she really have to do this?'" he told Good Morning America.

But the rules his mother provided are actually good etiquette tips all iPhone users should abide by.

Ok -- maybe your mother doesn't need to know your password. But Hoffman just wants to make sure her son doesn't say or type anything he'll regret, Google everything he wonders, or become phone-reliant.

Her rules are as follows (lightly edited from Janelle Hofmann's blog):

  1. It is Mom's phone, she's just loaning it to Son
  2. Mom always gets to know the password
  3. Son must always use manners when picking up the phone -- and ALWAYS pick up the phone when it rings, especially when Mom or Dad are on the other line.
  4. Son must hand phone to Mom or Dad at 7:30 PM on weekdays and 9 PM on weekends.
  5. No iPhone during school hours. Son must have physical conversations, not just text message chains.
  6. Son, not Mom, is responsible for any iPhone repairs or replacements.
  7. Technology can not be used by son to "lie, fool or deceive another human being."
  8. Son may not write or say anything on the phone he wouldn't say in person.
  9. Son may not say something on the phone he wouldn't say in front of the other person's parents (censorship).
  10. Son may not look at porn.
  11. iPhone must not make Son rude. Phone must be stored during movies, dinners, etc.
  12. Son may not send or receive sexts (pictures of body parts).
  13. Son may not take too many photos or videos (bad news, Instagram)
  14. Son must be able to leave the house without the phone without feeling paranoid. i.e. Son must not become addicted to his iPhone.
  15. Son must download new songs that his friends haven't discovered yet.  "Expand your horizons," says Mom.
  16. Son must play games "every now and then" on iPhone.
  17. Son must still experience the world and look up from the iPhone from time to time. "Wonder without googling."
  18. If Son messes up (mom expects him to), his phone will get taken away. He'll be talked to and given the phone back. "I am on your team," Mom concludes. "We are always learning."


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