As a former youth pastor and now evangelist, I see the value in social media, specifically mobile devices. The fact that you are reading this article is a credit to the fact that social media is a key component to our lives and the propagation of brands and messages. But when it comes to a week at camp, be it a retreat or a youth camp, we highly discourage the use of mobile devices, and definitely social media. If you have joined us on campus and witnessed people go through withdraws or you are planning a mountain top experience at Fort Bluff camp, I think it necessary to explain why we unplug for our time together:
1. Will Be A Major Distraction
Have you ever found yourself with phone in hand mindlessly scrolling through an infinity of posts and photos? We all battle this addiction. And from youngest to oldest on platforms that span generations we feel the “phantom vibrations” of the phone beckoning for our attention. Bring a hard copy of the word to camp and leave your cell phone in your suitcase. The Bible is the only text that requires your immediate attention in this moment.
2. Leaves No Time To Detox
Whether you call it a “retreat,” “conference,” or “camp” the big idea is to escape the daily grind and seek God’s face. Our campus is a mountain, high above the cares of this world, but your cell phone can take you back home in less than a second! You’re one notification or email away from connecting to the same junk you are attempting to retreat from. Fasting from social media during your time on campus will no doubt change your life and renew your focus.
3. Robs from the Integrity of the Event
One of the things I love about going to Disney world is that staffers blend into each era or galaxy they represent flawlessly. I’ve never once seen their cowboy, astronaut, or big eared mouse on a cellular device. As a result, their attention is fully locked on the guest, the guest’s experience, and keeping the guest’s attention. Likewise, as a follower of Christ, take some time to unfollow the world and enjoy the event! It will be over before you realize it, so don’t waste your time trying to post about a moment that you could be living. Your experience cannot be replicated so don’t miss a moment of it!