A few weeks ago I got into a conversation with young man at a coffee shop. He told me he was about to go to a “summer camp for adults “. This got me interested. Summer camp was always important to me and I have many fond memories of being a camper and a camp staff over many years. I was feeling kind of envious. I asked him to tell me more.
I was surprised at what he told me. The first thing was that it was a weekend- only camp. And the first activity upon arrival was handing over your phones and devices to be stored away until late Sunday afternoon. No digital activity allowed. Just fun being with other young adults. They would have a full schedule of camp activities like hiking, sports, play and plenty of time for conversation and getting to know each other.
I was very impressed. It made me think about how very rarely I put down my phone and disconnect. I don’t think I’m alone in my concern about the use of digital devices. I can see how I am hooked. When I first connected to the email world I made a practice of not checking messages on the weekends. Then it was not checking messages on Saturdays only. Eventually there was no “time off” from my iPhone and iPad at all. Whenever I tell myself that it’s time to take a break I still find myself checking for messages and replying to them far too often.
Though agreeing with articles and Leading Edge presenters like Peg Wehrenberg who suggest structuring your time to limit calls or message-checking to specific times of the day I find it difficult to carry through with this. It’s still a work in progress.
Whether for ourselves or clients this is a large and insidious issue in our society. This article raises many interesting points and can be read here