When I was in seventh grade, our language arts teacher assigned The Giver. One of the journal prompts we had encouraged us to write about the most attractive thing about living in that world, and I wrote with ease on that one. Plain and simple, I appreciated how every kid had exactly the same things... they wore the same clothes, had the same model of house, and all had one sibling and two working parents. As a have-not, I dreamed of equality amongst my peers, so to see how the seventh graders in this day and age deal with similar concerns really played to my interests. Learning that Maya was the one kid in class without a smartphone was a bit eye-opening for me (practically every kid I know is under 12), and Cory deciding to take on the responsibility of connecting her was cute.
Girl Meets World "Girl Meets Boy" (S01E02): Riley has been texting with Lucas at school, and Maya encourages her to talk to him in real life, but she can't manage. [fun fact: there appear to be 12 desks in Mr. Matthews' classroom; Mr. Feeny's was famous for only having 9!] Her shyness regarding personal communication moves to the forefront when Cory talks about the kids not being able to communicate or show emotions because of technology. He assigns a computer-free project, where the kids can't use their phones and must go to the public library to do research. [Cory not thinking his daughter could handle not having her phone seemed odd. As her father, you'd think he would have tried harder from earlier in life. Also, can a teacher actually take away kids' phones like that? I don't think so.]
In a side story, Auggie draws on the walls and refrigerator, and his parents aren't sure how they should appropriately react.
More Boy Meets World parallels: the obvious one with Cory and Maya having a private conversation in the stacks of the library, just like Cory and Shawn once did. also, when Farkle exclaims that he had no idea Maya could draw, and she responds "neither did I," I'm reminded of a couple different Cory/Shawn moments, with both having the revelation at distinct points in their friendship. [which reminds me... how long until we get to see the adult Rider Strong??!?]