For most people who unwrapped new iPhones this Christmas, lengthy contracts from cellphone companies are a matter of fact. But when 13-year-old Gregory Hofmann found a new iPhone under the tree Christmas morning, he discovered a few other strings, too – 18 of them, to be exact.
The new iPhone, which he’d been asking for all year, came with an 18-point list of “terms and conditions” – all drawn up by his mother.
“Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone,” the contract begins. “But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations…Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.”
First rule from Mom: “It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?”
No. 2 – Mom will always have the password.
The list goes on – Gregory has to hand over the phone to his parents nightly at 7:30 p.m., 9:30 on weekends. He can’t ignore calls from Mom or Dad. And among other don’ts: no taking it to school, no lying, and no nudie pics (Hollywood, take note.)
“My first reaction was why? Why did she really have to do this?” Gregory Hofmann told “Good Morning America.”
“My job is to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it,” Gregory’s mother, Janell Burley Hofmann, wrote to him.
Scattered among the rules were bits of valuable advice, too: “Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos,” Janell Hofmann wrote. “There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences.”
And some guidance most smartphone users – teen or adult – would be wise to heed, Rule No. 17: “Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you…Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.”