Technology Thoughts Upon Returning From Camp Grounded

“Why is everyone always on their dang phone?!?!?!?”

cell line

source

In all seriousness, that was my first thought upon re-entering the real world after leaving camp. Most of us didn’t want any of our technology (phones, digital cameras, watches, etc.) back, and the majority of my bus didn’t turn their phones on except to let people know they were on their way back to San Francisco.

Since returning, I’ve been run into at a movie theater by another movie-goer looking down at their phone. I’ve witnessed a near miss car accident because one driver was on their phone. I watched a family at the airport- Dad on phone, Mom playing game on phone and child sitting alone. While all of these situations made me feel a little irritated, they also made me feel sad.

Camp Grounded was a reminder that our phones are a crutch, a huuuuge crutch. We use them when we’re uncomfortable, bored, alone and more. We (ironically) talk to each other less because text and Facebook are easier. We have less opportunities to connect with strangers around us face-to-face. There is no doubt technology has amazing benefits. In many ways it actually helps us connect with people we never would (hello blog readers!), but it shouldn’t always be our go-to, and I’m doing my best to live each day with that in mind.

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Hostel breakfast with new friends pre-iPhone days

My friend Kayla picked me up at the airport and I told her about everything. She has been more than supportive of my technology decisions since returning, even following a few herself. All that said, here are the decisions/goals I wrote for myself on the plane ride home.

  • Turn my phone on silent or leave it in another room when visiting with friends and family, unless I know there’s a reason I may actually need it. Remember when we just used phones to call people?!? 😉
  • Disconnect at least 3 nights a week- no phone, internet or TV after dinner. This one will allow me more time to focus on hobbies and talents that fulfill me- reading, photography, making plans to walk, have a picnic or listen to some live music with friends. It will probably also be the hardest.
  • Write/make and send more cards and letters, just because- no holiday required
  • Create a safe space for myself, where I can eat, read, relax and not watch TV or work at the same time. Ultimately, I want this to be my patio…but Texas heat. Gah! I need to brainstorm on that one.

That’s all for technology right now, but I think I may do another post on more personal thoughts and epiphanies I had while away. You wouldn’t expect camp to be so emotional, but it was.

What are your thoughts on technology? Are you glued to your phone? Do you try to incorporate more real ways to connect with people?

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One thought on “Technology Thoughts Upon Returning From Camp Grounded

  1. Rainman June 11, 2015 / 10:56 pm

    I was walking across a driving lane in front of a store once, while looking at my phone, but I specifically glanced before crossing, and could see a car approaching from the corner of my eye, and when I looked up completely after she had stopped, she yelled, “Good way to get yourself killed,” or something like that. But… I WAS in a crosswalk so excuse me for assuming she would yield like she was supposed to. Anyway, my point is that she overreacted, but otherwise I agree with all of your points. I am away from home on business tonight and texted my wife while I was eating dinner. At one point I jokingly said, “This is kind of like eating with you, because we both take our phones out when we’re together.” That was an exaggeration, too, because we usually only do it if someone texts us or while the other one is away at the restroom, but it’s still sad. I like your idea of disconnecting while with friends, but what if they don’t disconnect and all get technologically distracted, leaving you sitting there looking like a lonely time traveler from 1980? 🙂

    Like

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