Set it down


Grace DeKoker, Copy Editor

The weekend of Nov. 3-5 was Operation Snowball’s Fall Retreat, which coincided with Kairos as well. I attended OSB as a staff member for the first time, and I cannot emphasize how impactful and incredible my weekend was.

I was both anxious and excited to lead on Snowball for the first time; we all had put in so much work, and I can’t think of anyone who wasn’t ready for the weekend. The day before we left, I asked a friend to keep my streaks while I was gone. I did this for a few reasons: I didn’t want to have to think about except for the people within the borders of Camp Mclean.

Other than communicating schedule changes in the staff GroupMe and taking photos of my workshop group trekking through the woods, I honestly did not use my phone. It felt great.

Staying off of my phone allowed me to maximize my time with all the amazing people on staff. I ate every meal with fellow staff and theatre members, I stayed up late writing positive notes to them and woke up early to share hot chocolate and meet before the days began. Snowball relieved so much of the anxiety I hadn’t even realized I was carrying, and I left the weekend feeling light and ready to bring positivity back to our LT community.

I wondered if part of my lack of stress tied into not being on my phone all weekend. It was so refreshing to be part of a group of people who were laughing and talking with each other without checking their phones or sending a Snapchat every ten minutes. While I completely understand being out with friends, and receiving a text or call that you have to answer, that probably isn’t the norm though..

Of course, I had to come home. I had to re-enter the grind of worrying about physics and midnight studying. I have my phone on me all day, and since I can’t always be with my favorite people, and getting a silly picture of their face in pre-calc or texting them at night can definitely brighten my day.

But when I’m with those people, those few that I’d really care if our streak ended, my phone is turned over or in my pocket; my favorite people are my favorite for a reason….they are wonderful friends who I love spending time with, and I want to enjoy every minute I spend with them.

Texting and snapchatting is a fine way to communicate when you cannot be with someone. But when you communicate in person, everything feels more real– because it is real. You can’t pretend your message didn’t send, or ignore an uncomfortable topic. Your feelings are right there, you see people’s smiles and frowns. You hear their tone, look at their eyes, gage how the conversation is going. You can strengthen your relationship and grow closer to each other with just one or two real conversations.

I still keep streaks. I still put funny videos of me and my friends on my story. I’m not going to delete all social media from my phone anytime soon, because I still love talking to them throughout the day when we’re not together. What’s important to remember is that if you’re with people who you love and who truly matter, enjoy the moment. We all know who the people are that matter in our lives, and we can show it to them by setting the phone down.