And so it came to pass, that a tween son and a tween daughter finally received their (pre-loved) iPhones tied to the All-Father’s Family Sharing account.
At the iPhone Handing Over Ceremony, the All-Father read out the Rules and Regulations governing said iPhones.
- Thy iPhone is a privilege, not an entitlement.
- Whatever is Locked shalt remain Locked till the All-Father deems it fit to be unlocked.
- Any attempt to circumvent said Locks or to cracketh the All-Father’s Security Code, shalt result in said iPhones being confiscated.
- Do not remove the All-Father’s fingerprint from thy iPhone, or he shalt remove thy iPhone from thy fingers.
- There shalt be no usage of iPhones at bedtime and charging of iPhones shalt take place in the Living Room at night. Violate this rule, and said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- There shalt be no usage of iPhones at mealtimes or at study times. Violate this rule, and said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- If thy grades decline post-iPhone, said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- If thy teachers contact the All-Mother or me, complaining of unauthorized use of iPhones in school, said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- If thou doeth something with said iPhones that maketh thy All-Father angry, said iPhones shalt be confiscated and thou shalt be returned to the Dark Ages of the Nokia Phone with No Whatsapp.
- Protect thine iPhones with all vigilance. Thy previous Nokia phones were not desired by bandits and vagabonds, but these iPhones, despite their vintage, will be the target of thieves and brigands. If lost, there shalt be no replacements.
- When in doubt about doing something with thy iPhones, ask for permission.
- Do not FaceTime thy All-Father and the All-Mother at work.
- Thy All-Father and All-Mother do not speak Emoji. 🤔🤔🤔😑. Please use grammatical English as frequently as possible.
- U is not the acceptable version of You. Neither is R an acceptable version of Are. LOL is allowed if thou art truly Laughing Out Loud at the All-Father’s jokes.
- The All-Father will generally respect thy privacy with regards to thy messages, unless it is an emergency. Do not violate his sacred trust.
- Do not send large videos and images over WhatsApp or iMessage without express permission.
- If thy Whatsapp chat groups start to be a distraction from your studies, you shalt be removed from said groups.
- Do not sign up for any online or social media thing without express permission.
- There is no YouTube app on thy iPhones. Nor canst thou visit YouTube.com without the All-Father’s blessing.
- All App purchases, in-app purchases, and even Free Apps, shalt not be allowed without the All-Father’s blessing. In fact, thou wilt not even see the App Store.
- Any extra usage bills shalt be deducted from thy allowance, and if excessive, said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- There shall be no power banks issued. If thou useth thy iPhones too much too early in the day, thou wilt have to wait for nightfall before The Charging.
- Learneth to know the difference between the home wifi and mobile data. The former is generally unlimited, the latter hath limits.
- Do not repeat the 1182 SMSes fiasco from last month. It costeth the All-Father $16.50 more in excess charges. You only get 800 SMSes with thy package.
- Pokemon Go? Pokemon NO. Go out there and catch some good grades.
- Do not ignore the National Library Board reminders to return your library books. Now that you have email access on your phones, there is no excuse for late fines.
- The wifi password can be changed by All-Father anytime. So can the mobile data access. You do not want this to happen.
- The All-Father doth appreciate the sharing of thy musical tastes with him, like the Regina Spektor, Jackson Five and Boyz II Men. Except for the Undertale soundtrack. Do not share that with the All-Father.
- If thou dost not liketh the iPhone covers that the All-Father has given thee, buyeth thy own with thy own money.
- There shall be no playing of any audio out loud in public spaces. Nobody needs to hear what video you are watching or game you are playing or song you are listening to. We are better people than that.
- Do not engage in flame wars online. You shall be punished as if you got into an offline fight. Do not feed the trolls.
- If you express your opinion online publicly, there will be those who will disagree in a very strong way. This can be unpleasant but it is normal. Developeth thicker skin, and learneth to let things slide. If thou cannot take the slings and arrows of discourse, then don't participate.
- The All-Father will not entertain any discussions as to why one child got the newer model and the other child got the older model. Any whining and said iPhones shalt be confiscated.
- These rules are subject to change at the discretion of the All-Father. Further rules may be added depending on the circumstances. Pray I don’t alter it any further.
- Understand that these rules are for your protection. Because the mobile Internet, while powerful and useful, can also be a dangerous place, populated with cyber-bullies and predators. It is also a place where the things you post, be they good, bad or stupid, have a knack of following you for the rest of your life. Trust the All-Father on this. He has been the Blogfather since 1997. That is almost twenty years.
- Enjoy thy iPhones and use them wisely.
Thank goodness for Apple Family Sharing and the ability to calibrate the iPhones correctly for kids. This All-Father thanks Apple.
A shorter version of this article originally appeared on my Medium blog.