Disconnect to Reconnect

My son left a few days ago for a week long summer camp at Lake Champion, where the kids would hike, swim, sit around a camp fire, and… talk. No cell phones! For a whole week! Wow!

Most of today’s teenagers don’t actually interact a lot. They text each other, tweet, post photos, but the old fashioned face-to-face communication isn’t within their comfort zone. I was relieved to hear that he was completely fine with this circumstance, although I will be curious to ask him how he actually felt when he gets home this weekend…

Do we use our smart phones as distraction or to make us feel not alone? Or maybe as an escape?

Being connected via our electronic devices has so many advantages, and we can’t imagine our lives without them. This is how we keep in touch, how we get information, how we run our businesses, how we shop. But there are many advantages also to turn that power button off.

  • We become more efficient and more creative. Think about all the extra time you have when you are not browsing on your FB feed.
  • It provides an opportunity to reset and to refocus. Appreciate the lives we have been given and not feel jealousy or envy when we look at others family happiness or exotic vacations photos on FB.
  • We can be fully present in the moment. As the saying goes, “Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Are we becoming too impersonal communicating via our phones and iPads? Can we disconnect our electronic devices for a few hours each day to really connect with the people we care about?

I believe that we are inherently social beings, and even though social media can allow us to cultivate consistent and closer relationships with each other, it can’t and shouldn’t replace real face-to-face contact.



Ursula and the IPY teachers