Facebook has become one of society’s guilty pleasures. With the click of a mouse, this tool allows us to reconnect with old friends, keep up with new ones, and easily put our own lives on display. We hand over the drama of living to a computer screen and remain safe and disengaged in the comfort of our homes.
If what we are searching for is a sense of community, then Facebook certainly seems to create one for us. You can interact with a friend at any moment in time. Just click on her profile and there she is; her face, her words, her thoughts and opinions, her conversations with other people- all as easily accessible as air. Once more, if, by coincidence, you happen to be logged into Facebook at the same time as one of your friends you can even “chat” with her. Facebook keeps us more connected than ever!
But does it really? Virtual social networking cannot provide you with butterflies in your stomach when you meet up with an old friend after a leave of absence. This avenue of communication completely erases tone, crescendos, emotion and emphasis from the telling of a story, leaving it flat and lifeless. You’ll never feel the warm breath of laughter or savor the same full-bodied meal as the person across from you.
Camp coaxes us out of our dark rooms flooded with blue light and into the natural world filled with beauty and splendor. At camp we loosen our grip from the mouse and really feel things; the toughness of a rope, the mud under our fingernails, a horse’s mane, the sun on our face, the joy of a real community. No exclamation point, italic, or emoticon is worth an experience like that.