Monday, September 14, 2015

why every teenager should have a cell phone (coming from a teacher) (I know, right??)

I think it is safe to say that I spend a fair amount of time with teenagers. It seems that teenagers are synoymous with cell phones these days. They all have them, and they all get way more likes on their crap then we do. I have taken away a cell phone or two (or fifty) in my teaching career, I have had to give many lessons about cyber bullying, and I have overheard conversations about only going to a certain event or doing certain things for the sake of posting it, so I definitely know what a negative thing that cell phones can be on our growing generation. 

That being said, I feel like cell phones don't get enough credit for what they do for teenagers. Actually, I don't think they get any at all.  So here I am today, to make my case.
1. More conscious of the world around them
Every Friday, my classes and I have a "current events" discussion where we talk about different things going on in the world. It's amazing how aware of the world that my students are, because of their phones. They all have some sort of news app and obviously social media. They are so much more aware of the issues that are affecting the world as well as the advances are being made. Last week we were talking about Syrian refugees and several of the students pulled up different articles that they had seen either on facebook or buzzfeed or cnn to add to our discussion. I was in seventh heaven. Please, buy your kid a phone. 

2. More curious about the world around them
My students are not afraid to ask questions because they know that they can find the answer very easily. The world is literally at their fingertips. One of my students wondered if he could find an organization that helps disabled kids in Mexico. One google search on his phone and it was there. Another student wondered about the guy who made the first map. Boom. I love that my students are more curious about everything and I encourage them to use their phones to find those answers. 

3. More connected to other people
This one is probably the most controversial, but I really feel like my students are able to care more about people because of social media. Sure, cyber bullying is absolutely real and terrible. However I don't feel that people see it like this:
Kids want followers. To get followers, you have to follow. Follow people you maybe wouldn't super care about in real life. So say i'm a popular kid, I follow a lesser popular kid so they will follow me back. I, the popular kid, see the lesser popular kids posts. I see that they have a family, hobbies. I see when they are having a bad day and when they accomplish something they are proud of. Instantly, they are more human to me. Instantly, I am statisically less likely to bully them at school because I am getting to know the actual person more.
If you think this is far fetched, I can tell you it absolutely isn't. This happens all the time at my school. The kids talk about it and the teachers witness it. It is one of the coolest human experiments that not very many people notice. 

So yes parents, please. Go buy your kids a phone. Encourage them to be curious, to connect with others. Don't roll your eyes too much when they talk about how many likes they have, because they will, that's just the teenager in them. Celebrate what technology and their access to it is doing to them as a person.
I know cell phones can be expensive, so that's why i'm here to offer an alternative. I know there are many outlets to buy used phones, but not all of them are cheap or reliable. Gazelle offers used cell phones for an extremely affordable price. They specialize in providing great pricing and other info so your child can benefit from technology like ipads, iphones, samsung phones, etc. 

Don't have kids? That's ok. I think we all know someone who has lost their phone to a shallow grave aka a bag of rice and honestly, it is only a matter of time before it happens to you. They offer cheap options to replace that phone. Or, if by some miracle you have saved your phone from destruction and are ready to upgrade, you can sell your phone to Gazelle. A little bit ago I sold my phone on KSL and after checking what I could have gotten for it from Gazelle, I realize I got totally ripped off from selling it on KSL. Never doing that again! I'm really pleased with the prices Gazelle is offering, I think they are super reasonable. Plus you don't have to deal with contract pricing which is always a plus. Check Gazelle out, I will definately be upgrading using them very soon!

As always, though it has been months since I have done a sponsored post, thanks for supporting my sponsors, clicking my links and helping my pay to get my hair dyed every so often. :)
This post is sponsored by Gazelle but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
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  1. This is great! I'm a big fan of seeing the good in cell phone/smart device use!

  2. I RLY RLY LOVE THIS. i'm not a teacher and i don't have kids, but i love love love when people talk about phones/social media/our connected world in a positive way. i know it can be a bad thing, but mostly it's good and i wish we recognized that more.

    ps i bought that old navy dress per your recommendation and THANK YOU. it's long enough to cover karinessa g's AND it's like wearing pj's in public.

  3. As a Junior High English and history teacher, I find this very interesting. I really dislike having phones in my class, but I've thought of some fun ideas and projects for them to use their phones in class...but keeping them on track and not switching over to IG or SnapChat when they should be learning.

  4. That easy access to immense knowledge can be a blessing, versus only a curse. It would be cool to incorporate their phones into the current events portion, if your school would allow that!

  5. Great post! So many valid points. Thanks for sharing. :)