Things People Should Know About Their Cell Phones
The kind of work that I do require me to be online all the time. That's why my phone, an iPhone with unlimited data access, is one of the most useful tools for me. I cannot leave home without it BUT I don't allow it to change the kind of person that I am.
When I am with someone, I don't go looking for someone else so talk with on my phone, I look people in the eye, not on my phone. My phone remains a gadget, not my boss.
And that's why I am amused at people who seem to think their phone is Darth Vader who controls them with so much force they can't go 1 hour without texting someone. And so I set a few rules to my sister about her phone. Yes, rules and I hope other people learn from it too... especially the younger ones.
1. Do not text or say anywhere online things that you can't say to someone personally.
2. Don't say through text or say anywhere online if you don't want other people to know you said it.
3. Your phone has no place in school. Most of the people you text with are in your school so talk with them face to face, look at them in the eye, touch their hand, give them high fives, hear their actual voice... learn how to have a conversation when the person you are talking with is right in front of you. It's a skill you will need your entire life.
4. If it breaks or disappears or bogs down, don't act like it's the end of the world. It's a phone, not your parents BUT you will shoulder the replacement and repair.
5. Don't use your phone to trick or lie to someone. Your phone is to allow you to stay in touch with your family and friends, not to stalk or fool another human being. It is a device for you to be a better friend or a better family member not turn you into a disrespectful, insecure, lying bitch.
6. When you are in a public place like a restaurant, movie house or with a group of friends, put it in silent or turn it off. We didn't raise you to be rude and disrespectful, don't let your phone do that.
7. Do not take photos of yourself or other people naked, in bikinis, showing private parts, doing private things even if you have no intention of sending it someone or posting it anywhere. If the Pentagon's system can be hacked, your photos can be stolen and you, of all people, should know that it is nearly impossible to take down anything that has been put online. Not even Google can do it and they have 6,000 employees and billions of dollars in their bank accounts.
8. Do not take photos of and post what you eat, drink, smelt, heard, saw... you're not that important.
9. Do not take photos of and post other people doing embarrassing things, going through humiliation, in a compromising situation or even doing things that seem to be innocent. Respect other people's privacy and rights.
10. Take your eyes off your phone. Watch the scene, appreciate the view, find the humor in what is happening, notice the dog, the trees, the sky... experience the world. This is a beautiful world, feel it.
11. You will mess up and your phone, computer and freedom to go out with your friends will all be taken away. We will talk about it, we will hear each other and we will try to work it out. I am on your side all the time. Trust us more than anything, not your phone. When push comes to shove, we will be the ones who will take the bullet for you, we will do everything to protect you even if it kills us, we will do time for you, we will take the humiliation for you... not your phone, not your friends, it is us. Always remember that.