In today’s fast-paced world, our smartphones, tablets and other devices play a huge part of our lives. We are constantly online, looking up information, being entertained, and most importantly, connecting and interacting with our friends. Being connected to the Web is now so entrenched in our daily activities that in many ways it is hindering our normal interactions with people and the world around us.
There are, of course, many benefits to living in a connected world, however, at GROUND Asia, we believe that limiting the amount of time spent online is also important, especially where young people and education is concerned. On our university and high school student travel programs abroad we therefore encourage students to limit their use of smartphones and other technologies, so that they can really focus on their task at hand and benefit from the every-day interactions they have with fellow team members and the people in the local communities with which we work.
Here are a few reasons why switching off technology and abstaining from social media can really boost a student’s confidence and help them to become more observant, compassionate and intuitive.
Living in Reality
The minute we pick up our phones, we are missing out on the world around us. All sorts of wonderful and amazing things happen every day and all one has to do is pay attention. This is especially true when traveling, or when students are taking part in one of GROUND Asia’s educational travel programs and study abroad trips, where they will be immersed in a completely different culture, with new customs and traditions. At times like this it’s important to be alert and observant, because what you see and who you interact with can be the difference between understanding a situation, or missing something that is important, beautiful, or even inspiring.
Don’t Succumb to Nomophobia!
The nomophobia can be defined as “a fear of being without access to a working cell phone”,a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common among young people. Turning off one’s phone can be difficult for some students, so the best place to start is simply getting them to note how much time they actually spend a day using their phones.
In preparation for an educational travel program or study abroad trip, your students can set goals for their phone use, and there are even apps out there that can help them to monitor and limit their usage. Another option is for students to try and set a goal with a friend or family member and make it into a competition!
This is all good practice in preparing for a student travel program. When your students limit their phone usage, they will suddenly find they have more time to prepare for their trip and are more likely to be inspired, which in turn could lead to new ideas with real educational benefits.
Happy and Less Anxious
The rise of smartphones has also been linked to increased anxiety, especially in situations – like for example, in a classroom – where students can’t check their phones every minute. Research has been conducted in Britain that suggests college students with high mobile phone use tend to have lower GPA scores, higher anxiety and lower satisfaction with life or happiness, compared to students who used their phones less.
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GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.