Keep it in your pants


I’m a firm believer that the main purpose of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is to help me avoid eye contact with strangers while I stand alone at house parties. The second purpose is to distract me from learning anything useful in the classes that I pay thousands of dollars to be in. The third is to creep on pictures of my ex and make sure he didn’t suddenly grow a six-pack and a man bun since he dumped me last December.

I will admit I’m always on my phone. I have to charge it at least twice a day, and I’m that person who’s always plugging her cell into hard-to-reach outlets like on ceilings, behind beer-soaked countertops at bars or into other people’s laptops.

But summer is here. And maybe it’s just the overworked student in me talking, but it seems like it’s time to hit pause on the constant search for Wi-Fi zones and power down until September.

Camp Grounded, an adult summer camp in Northern California each year, bases its weekend getaway around the idea of going off the grid. They don’t let campers bring in digital electronics of any kind, and absolutely no networking is allowed. People can’t even use their real names.

Last year, over 300 people attend¬ed Camp Grounded. This year, early bird tickets for both sessions are already sold out. The appeal of going sans iPhone for the summer is strong.

I like to believe the weekend get¬away is doable. It likely gets people back in touch with nature while they practice yoga and paint rocks or whatever. But there is another part of me that would be tempted to hide batteries in my pockets and climb trees for phone signals.

But really, why the fascination with technology? The only thing we’ll be missing on social media from now until September is Valencia-filtered photos of semi-buff boys in tank tops playing beach volleyball.
Sadly, no phone means we’ll also miss out on shakily recorded footage of some alt-folk band playing the Spruce Hollow stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I suppose, instead, we could go to the festival ourselves and hear the music live. Crazy, right?

If the very thought of putting down your digital electronics makes you break out into a nervous sweat, at the very least put your phone in your pocket while on a date. There’s nothing worse than a man who would rather play Bejeweled than stare deeply into my eyes as I com¬plain dramatically about bathing suit season.

Which I may or may not be tweeting about.

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Riley Chervinski is a journalism student, soccer player and reader of cringe-worthy chick-lit. Follow her @rileychervinski, or read her observations on her blog