The Rules

I recently took delivery of a shiny new iPhone 5. Strangely, the iPhone 5 is the sixth iteration of this marvellous device, and it’s the sixth one I’ve had the privilege to own.

I’m pleased to say I’ve never been in the unfortunate situation of having lost or broken my iPhone, nor have I ever had one stolen. I don’t put this down to good luck, I put it down to the fact that from the very beginning, when I got my first one, I laid down a few ground rules for myself which I’ve stuck to pretty rigidly over the years. I’d like to share those rules with you, in case they may be of help.

There are also a few other rules I have which are less concerned with the risk of losing or damaging the thing and more concerned with the risk of turning into some sort of iPhone zombie: somebody who rarely looks up from that tiny screen, and comes to see the virtual world in their hands as more real than the physical one around them.

The Rules: how to avoid breaking or losing your iPhone

• Never leave your iPhone unattended in a public place. Never. If for for some reason you leave it with someone else, tell them not to let it out of their sight.

• As much as possible, keep your iPhone in your pocket when in public. Don't have it clipped onto your belt for all to see. Don't put it on the table. Don't keep it in your hand unless you're using it. It's very pretty and nice to hold, but it's a lot less likely to get dropped or covered in liquid if it's in your pocket. It's also a lot less likely to get swiped if it isn't seen in the first place.

• Never put your iPhone in your breast pocket. It will fall out as soon as you bend over. You've got plenty of other pockets - use them!

• Never place your iPhone on top of your car, not even for a second. The chances of you driving away with it still sitting on top are fairly small, but the extent to which you will feel like a complete twat if you do is extremely great.

• Avoid becoming engrossed looking at your iPhone while walking along the street. Apart from being thoroughly embarrassing when you walk into a lamppost, you need to remember that a shiny new iPhone is a fantastic prize for a mugger. Be aware of who's around you and remember that you're carrying something worth hundreds of pounds. I don't know how many hits of heroin that amounts to, but I suspect it's a lot.

• Avoid leaving your iPhone in your car. If you do, always lock the car and don't be away for more than a minute or so, or let the car out of your sight. If you're leaving the car for more than a minute, just take the phone with you.

• If you're sitting in the car playing with your iPhone, lock the doors. This may be more appropriate in some areas than others, but wherever you are you've got nothing to lose by taking the precaution.

Some suggestions for looking after your iPhone

• Don't put your iPhone in he same pocket as your keys or change if you don't want it to get scratched.

• Get a decent case.

• Get a screen protector.

Suggestions for having a happy life with your iPhone

• Keep it off the dinner table. Insist that your partner/kids do the same.

• Don't jump up and run to it every time it beeps. Learn to ignore it.

• Remember to notice other people. Smile, make eye contact, speak to them occasionally.

• When walking your dog, walk your dog. Play with your dog. Don't just play with your iPhone while holding onto one end of the dog's lead.

• Remember that having a short attention span is not cool!

Most of these rules can and should also be applied to the iPad, although I hope you wouldn’t even consider playing with your iPad while sitting at the dinner table or walking your dog!