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Digital Detox

Dani Ackerman, our friend from Elmwood Day Camp, wrote this great blog that we thought was worth sharing. Take a look:

Do you ever feel addicted to your phone or find that your whole day is spent staring at a screen? I certainly do! I recently returned from CampMinder Camp (a conference focused on camp technology) in Boulder, Colorado. At this conference, I attended a great session called “Digital Detox,” run by Levi Felix. In this session, it was stressed that this “addiction” to technology is not necessarily bad nor should we feel guilty about it. We should simply find time to “disconnect to reconnect.” He highlighted several strategies that offer us an opportunity to reclaim our “me time” and offer us more time to connect with others. Here are a few of my favorites….

  • Eat at least 1 meal a day without a device: Use this time for yourself or to be fully present with others.
  • Use the phone FIRST to contact people: There is a more personal connection when speaking with someone on the phone instead of texting or e-mailing.
  • Schedule mini breaks throughout the day or mini “digital detoxes” where you are not connected to your phone, television, radio, etc.
  • Give your eyes a break and follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes look at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Set a technology curfew: Turn off your phone and television 60 – 90 minutes before bed. You will likely get better sleep as a result.
  • Avoid multi-tasking: No one is as good at multi-tasking as they think. Instead of multi-tasking, create a schedule for yourself each day.
  • Disable push notifications on your phone that are not critical: This will help eliminate unneeded digital distractions.
  • Create tech-free walls/areas in your home: There should be certain places in your home where technology is not used (like the bathroom, for example).


One of the things I enjoy most about camp is that I can digitally detox. I can be fully present in each moment of camp because I am not distracted by the many different forms of technology. At Elmwood, there is a no cell phone policy, we avoid using e-mail during the summer and we do not have any activities that involve video games or computers. No one is walking around camp bumping into each other because they are staring at their cell phones. (which often happens to me when walking around NYC). Everyone is fully present in the moment. I admit that separating from my phone during the day is always a bit of a challenge at first, but it feels great to be fully engaged in camp and building relationships with campers and staff all day long. I can be completely plugged into all the wonderful things that are happening… and then it is always fun looking at my phone at the end of the day (absence does make the heart grow fonder after all).