It’s fairly common to see teens give undivided attention to their phones, and cultural trends indicate smartphone use won’t be going away anytime soon. Parents and youth leaders want to help adolescents navigate technology with wisdom. It can be a challenge when students’ devices are readily accessible, offering a false sense of comfort.
The effects of extensive use can be daunting. “Depression and suicide rates in teenagers have jumped in the last decade—doubling between 2007 and 2015 for girls—and the trend suspiciously coincides with when smartphones became their constant companions.” With screen time averaging around nine hours a day, that’s a significant amount of time to be online.
Researchers have identified “a clear pattern linking screen activities with higher levels of depressive symptoms/suicide-related outcomes and non-screen activities with lower levels.”
Youth workers and camp staff have witnessed positive changes when adolescents go to camp for a week. The students come back lighter and more engaged. The Power of Camp can provide a week without smartphone distractions and offer real face-to-face interactions. As a bonus, time spent in nature decreases levels of depression and improves brain function. At camp, there are loads of opportunities for high-adventure activities and outdoor exploration, giving students reasons to unplug.
Find a camp for this summer at ThePowerOfCamp.com.