Summer Camp and Social Media
With social media bearing down on all of us, camp is more important than ever. Why? Summer camp provides a good dose of social medial relief.
Common Sense Media, a non-profit group that "provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children" surveyed 2,658 children and young adults ranging in age from 8 to 18 and the results are incredible.
Kids from 8 to 12 spend an average of six hours daily with digital technology and those from 13 to 18 spend a whopping nine hours. Activities include texting, watching videos, listening to music and playing games. As a result, kids have far less time for in-person interactions and frequently, even less interest in pursuing them.
Unfortunately, taking in vast quantities of social media can contribute to lower self-esteem and increased anxiety. Numerous studies have verified this. As a parent, the challenge of helping children navigate through the social media maze is daunting. For many, summer camp is seen as an important tool to support this effort.
The camp experience emphasizes healthy social development and can help campers achieve a better balance to their daily lives. It provides multiple opportunities for self-expression, challenge and exploration in a real-life setting. It also encourages campers to share their ideas and concerns and provides an environment where facial expression and body language are added to the mix.
It’s a good idea for parents to learn about each camp’s position on social media and digital devices while at camp. Remember, let moderation be your guide!
Additional reading: Making Friends At Camp