One of the benefits of the school camps attended by students in Years 8 and 9 this week is the opportunity for girls to take a break from their devices and detox. As a society, we have become increasingly reliant on technology in our everyday lives and at times, as we all know and experience, it can become quite consuming. One of the reasons we are quite deliberate about our “no phones” on camp policy is because we see the unique opportunity camp brings for girls to take a break from their screens, slow down and experience the beauty of God’s wonderful creation. By shutting out the noise of constant information and communication from others on their devices, students are given the opportunity to tune in to what is going on around them and connect with others in real and tangible ways.
While at times it can be challenging to enforce boundaries around device use, research and experience clearly highlights the importance of students having regular time every day to “disconnect”. If your daughter has gone on a camp this week without her phone or laptop, can I encourage you to have a conversation with her upon her return about this experience. It may be helpful for you to get a sense of how your daughter is managing technology use in her life and indicate where she might need some help creating better boundaries around her device use. These question prompts might be helpful in your discussion:
- What was it like being without your devices?
- Did you notice a change in yourself or your behaviour? What was that change?
- Did you miss your phone? Why/why not?
As the school year begins to wind down and we look toward the summer holidays in the coming weeks, we will encourage the girls to seek out opportunities to carve out time in their days over the summer to make the most of the opportunity to be less reliant on their devices. To read a book, play games and share meals with friends and family, to move their bodies and get into nature. Technology is a wonderful tool in many ways, but connecting with others and creation reminds us of what it means to be a human created in the image of God.