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www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Gregory's iPhone Contract
This contract first appeared on the website
of US writer and community activist Janell
Burley Hofmann. It has some wisdom to
offer parents and teenagers in the world that
sees iPhones and similar accoutrements as
status symbols, rites of passage -- or simply
You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.
Hot Damn! You are a good and responsible
13 year-old boy and you deserve this gift.
But with the acceptance of this present
come rules and regulations. Please read
through the following contract. I hope you
understand it is my job to raise you into
a well-rounded, healthy young man who
can function in the world and coexist with
technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to
comply with the following list will result in
termination of your iPhone ownership.
I love you madly and look forward to sharing
several million text messages with you in the
days to come.
lending 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 "Mum" or
"Dad". Not ever.
4. Hand the phone to one of your parents
promptly at 7.30pm every school night and
every weekend night at 9.00pm. It will be
shut off for the night and turned on again
at 7.30am. 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. Half days, field trips
and after school activities will require special
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
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
9. Do not text, email, or say anything to
someone that you would not say out loud
with their parents in the room. Censor
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
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 s
generation has ac
before in history. T
Expand your horiz
16. Play a game w
brain teasers ever
17. Keep your eye
Stare out a windo
the birds. Take a w
to a stranger. Won
18. You will mess
will take away you
phone. We will sit
down and talk ab
it. We will start ov
again. You and
I, we are always
learning. I am on
your team. We are
in this together. It
is my hope that
you can agree to
these terms. Mos
of the lessons
listed here do
not just apply
to the iPhone,
but to life. You
are growing up in
a fast and ever-
changing world. It
exciting and entic
Keep it simple eve
chance you get. T
your powerful min
and giant heart ab
any machine. I lov
hope you enjoy yo
You may like to v
BY JANELL BURLEY HOFMANN
same exact stuff. Your
ccess to music like never
Take advantage of that gift.
with words or puzzles or
ry now and then.
es up. See the
ow. Listen to
ve you. I
i g Sharing
Do you want to make a real di erence
and reach out with compassion,
hospitality and justice to the broken
and displaced people of the world?
We invite you to explore Mercy
phone: (02) 9572 5400
Claimed by God, grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and red by the Spirit burning in Catherine McAuley...
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