I interviewed "Freddy." Freddy is a 13 year old male who is a self-proclaimed phone and phone company expert. He knows the price of pretty much every phone plan from every company. He tries to convince me to switch to T-Mobile every time I talk him.
Freddy believes that he spends 18 hours a day on his phone but said that he turns the sound off at 10:00pm to go to sleep. He also said that he spends about 10 hours a day making actual phone calls on his phone. He gets home around 3 and goes to bed at 10 so his numbers are a little off. He did insist that he talks on the phone from dinner until bedtime. He informed me that he never ever actually turns his phone off partially because he needs the alarm on it.
Freddy said that he is on 15 social media sites. He was able to list 11 that he uses, including some that I've never even heard of. He believes that social media is good to connect with friends and family that aren't local but it can also be dangerous. He mentioned kidnapping, pedophiles, pornography, and drug sales as potential dangers.
Freddy got his first smartphone at 11. He thinks that kids should have smartphones by the time they turn 12 but they need to be educated to the dangers associated with phones and social media. He stated that kids need to stop showing off online. I asked him what that meant. He said that kids think it's cool to post nasty stuff and swear. I questioned him a bit at this point because I've seen his facebook posts. He admitted that maybe he needs to take his own advice.
Freddy seems to respect the rules that his mother has set forth. He doesn't use his phone at meals and he doesn't send anything questionable by text or social media because his mother would not be happy. His mother doesn't, however, take his phone away as a punishment. He said she did that once and he just switched to his ipod, tablet and laptop so it was pointless.
Freddy wasn't very excited about teachers using social media to communicate with students. He feels that his phone is separate from school and doesn't want his teacher interfering with that part of his life. Freddy thinks that if a teacher is going to use social media to communicate with students that interactions should be monitored by a principal to make sure the teachers are not being inappropriate or communicating too often. When pressed on this issue, he said that lots of people, teachers included, have trouble being appropriate on social media and he would be very concerned about some teachers communicating too often with students or communicating inappropriately.
I asked Freddy about using technology in the classroom. He said his class has ipads, a smartboard, and one computer. He is not a fan of the program that the ipads use and is not happy that he can't use it for other purposes. He also believes that the classroom should have more computers, a smart tv instead of a smartboard, and ipads that have data packages and not so many programs blocked. I asked what he would like to be able to do with the ipads. He mentioned school wide games of Kahoot and taking pictures on field trips.
Freddy has a hard time imagining life before smart phones and social media. He can't even imagine spending one day without his smart phone.