They’re everywhere. Devices like iPhones, iPads, cell phones are in use all the time in every place. Everyone in my family has them, too. We have basic rules and guidelines in place, but I was especially impressed with a list I saw by Janell Hoffman. She gave her son an iPhone, and a list of 18 rules she created to go along with it. I started typing up a copy to print off and give to each of my sons, making slight adaptations as I went to remove one cuss word and to make it more of a Christian approach. I also added a few Scripture references. Then I decided to share the list on my blog in case anyone else would like to print off an edited copy for their family. Many of the rules on the list are good reminders for adults, too! Thank you to Lauren Battistelli for first posting Hoffman’s list on facebook this morning.
RULES FOR iPADS, iPHONES, & CELL PHONES
1. Never be upset about your parents wanting passwords.
2. If it rings, answer it. Say hello, use your manners. Never ignore a call from your parents. Not ever.
3. Shut the device off at a reasonable hour each evening, then turn it on again in the morning. 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 & respect other families like we would like to be respected.
4. It does not go everywhere with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. (2 Cor. 8:7)
5. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for replacement costs or repairs.
6. 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 always or stay out of the crossfire. (Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29)
7. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device that you would not say in person. (James 1:26; 1 Pet. 3:9-11)
8. No porn. Period. (Psalm 101:3)
9. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public, especially in worship, a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person. Do not allow any device to change that.
10. Do not send any pictures of your body parts. Do not receive any pictures of anyone else’s body parts. Don’t laugh. Some day you may be tempted to do this despite your Christianity and your level of high intelligence. It’s risky & will ruin your teenage/ college/ adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. It’s hard to make anything disappear, especially a bad reputation.
11. Don’t take a zillion pictures & videos. There’s no need to document everything. LIVE your experiences. They will be stored in your memories.
12. Leave your device(s) home sometimes & 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.
13. 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.
14. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
15. 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.
16. If you mess up, we will take away your device. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over. We are always learning. We are on your team. We are in this together.
17. Think of ways each day you can use your device to encourage others & glorify God. (1 Thess. 5:11; 1 Tim. 4:12)