I think I have two posts here, so I may divide it up.
I've been watching the kids with the phones today, and me as well, and it has been interesting.
First of all, while both of them are incredibly rapid at picking up the techniques for navigating around inside the machines, youngest is in no way handicapped by her youth....maybe it is like languages and you pick them up easily when you're young.
We got the phones, as I mentioned, with great reluctance, but the reality of teenage life today, at least here, is that it has fundamentally altered the way the kids interact. Just as any technology does of course. Messenger means that they want to chat all the time, but the cell phones have altered things from when I was running around with my friends.
You see, at that time, no one had cell phones (my kids groan at that, what a dinosaur) and so we needed to plan in advance. Easy peasy, and our parents would ask where we were going, and that is what we would be doing. We would know in advance, and if we changed plans we would phone for permission/to check in.
From observing my own teen, and talking to the kids I teach, - who I regularly pump for info - teens now normally have no idea what they are going to be doing. They are on messenger, decide they want to get together, and chose a place to meet. Maybe, or they go out the door and then text each other to see where they are.
The kids then head off to one place, another friend texts to say that something is going on, and off they go in a third direction.
As a parent who grew up in an unconnected era, the child can easily get into trouble with you because you discover they have gone to ________ place and didn't tell you.
But they didn't know that was where they were going till a moment before they went.
Hence the phones. Now the reality is that the phoneless are literally out of the loop and cannot locate their friends or get in on the activities because no one knows where or when they will be happening. Also their parents have no way of knowing where their kids are, nor can they give permission/advice without a phone as well.
It is fascinating how much more spontaneous their interactions have become compared to how I was a teen.
Here's a question, in TO I still largely function on the old system, despite the fact that I am hooked to a mobile 24/7. I plan in advance and then do what I plan. How hooked up are you? How has it affected how you interact with your friends. Do you see similar changes in your teens behaviours?