Technology is all around us everyday. It’s rare if I don’t have my phone on me at all times. I even sleep with my phone next to my bed.While there are many benefits of technology-access to information instantly, communication with friends and family who live far, and the ability to share pictures of your life-there are many negatives at well. People aren’t having face-to-face contact anymore. When people are constantly on social media, they are just comparing themselves to others, which lowers self-esteem. They aren’t living in the moment. People of today’s generation are, quite frankly, addicted to technology and to their “image”.
At sleepaway camp, technology is not allowed. In fact, at my camp, if you brought your phone and were caught with it you were sent home for 3 days. While campers may be disconnected from their home life, it is freeing to not have to check Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram every hour.
Unplugging helps to boost self-esteem. When we are constantly posting on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, we are aware of how much “better” other peoples’ lives are. This is horrible cycle because we are just comparing ourselves to everyone else. We aren’t happy-ever-because we think everyone else is having such a better time than us. Campers don’t have access to their phones, so it gives them a chance to just be happy in the present and live in the now.
Friendships and Connections
You make real friendships and connections at camp. When you live with people for 6 weeks, you see them at their worst and their best. There’s no need to post anything online to prove your friendship. Instead, you bond over just being silly together, participating in sports and events like Color War, and learning camp traditions. Camp is only a short time spent of your year, so why waste it worrying about how many likes your recent Instagram post will get?
When you put down your phone, you are able to find the activities you actually care about. For me, that means I was able to knee-board, rock-climb, horseback ride, play tennis, meet people of all ages, make ceramics and jewelry, and most importantly just be able to enjoy the activities I was doing at the time, without worrying what everyone else was doing.
Don’t live your life comparing yourself to others! Put your iPhone, computer and tablet down and be content with what you have now!