Benefits of kids unplugging from technology
Our lives are filled with TV, tablets, phones, and computers. While there are many benefits of technology, I am increasingly concerned about campers who are glued to their screens. I’ve seen many children become slaves to their electronic devices. It is important to establish a balance between screen time vs. non-screen time.
Here are some important reasons why we need to make time to unplug every day.
Did you know that over 80 percent of communication occurs through body language? That is why it is important to be able to see the people with whom you are talking. When you communicate through text or social media you end up losing a lot of the signals that tell you how a person truly feels. In addition, it is much easier to understand someone when you can see them. For example, being able to watch your counselor present a lesson helps you understand the skills being taught. Think about it. How would you learn a magic trick if you couldn’t see the other person? It would be almost impossible to grasp through texting alone.
Screens interrupt sleep. The excitement of texting or playing a game on your computer often overrules the desire to get some rest. Additionally, the blue light from screens actually prevents you from becoming sleepy. Getting proper sleep is important for your physical and emotional health. Do you know how many grumpy campers I have seen because they were on their phone rather than getting enough sleep? To get your needed rest, turn off your devices an hour before bedtime.
Have you ever thought about how the internet limits your creativity? Instead of coming up with your own original thoughts, most people depend on Google to answer their questions. Developing creative ways to problem solve is an important skill. One of the great things about camp is that you receive an opportunity to express your creative thinking. You are free to be yourself and put your unique spin on any activity. In addition, you are invited to show others your way of doing things. We suggest taking part in an activity and then going out and doing it. Even better, invite a friend to come along.
Calm Your Mind
One problem with screens is that there is non-stop stimulation. Whether it is a text or game your brain is always on overload. Unplugging allows your mind to rest and be present in the moment. You can actually enjoy what you are doing without distraction. I’ll tell you something you might find surprising: campers say they are happier and feel less stressed out when they are not spending all their time on games and social media.
Campers often tell me they are worried they will miss out on something if they are not constantly checking social media. I like to point out the number of other activities they don’t appreciate because they are preoccupied with technology. We only have so much time in the day. If we spend our time on social media, then we are not enjoying all that life has to offer.
Technology is not going anywhere. It is a vital part of our lives. Unfortunately, spending too much time playing video games like Fortnite and snapping photos often leads to negative outcomes. The key is to learn to balance screen time with other interests. I tell my campers to carve out at least an hour each day to be device free. At first, they look at me like I’m crazy but, a couple of weeks later, they end up thanking me. Do yourself a favor: unplug and enjoy a non-screen adventure.