As you gear up (literally and figuratively) to head out on our upcoming adventure, we wanted to speak more on a very important aspect of our non-packing list: your tech.
Dragons as an organization has a blanket policy that strongly requests all students leave your smart phones and other electronics at home. You can read more about that in your materials, but in short, we’ve found phones/mp3 players etc. detract from the experience and can create risk management issues for the group. It is amazing how dependent we’ve all become on technology and your time in Thailand with us might provide one of the few opportunities for you to truly “unplug” from the constant pressures of social media/electronic connection.
As a group, this also leaves space for us to be present with each other. There is so much to be gained from our conversations and interactions as a group, and these individual devices can distract from that. Leaving these things at home can also alleviate the stress that might be associated with damaging or losing one of these devices as we travel.
It is a truly liberating feeling if you haven’t tried it, or don’t remember the last time you didn’t have a phone at arm’s reach. We encourage everyone to please read this article from the NY Times. It’s not the same “technology is corrupting our youth” judgmental piece you’ve seen before, but has some really thoughtful insights on how technology can most affect our ability to be alone. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
This brings us to Part Two of the technology policy: CAMERAS, KINDLES/E-READERS & MP3 PLAYERS/IPODS…
Definitely bring one if you want to take photos! It is a great way to capture your experiences to look back on later, and share with friends and families. There are obviously a lot of different types out there, and it is really up to you as to what kind to bring.
Similar to cell phones, many of us are accustomed to using music/podcasts/audiobooks to help pass time on the commute to school, on a long bus ride, or to wind down before bed. The moments when you are bored and would pull out your headphones to pass the time are the moments we want you to try and embrace this summer. For instance, on a long train ride, rather than popping in earphones, closing out the world right in front of you, and listening to music that might mentally transport you back home, we encourage you to take in the sights and smells around you. That’s why we’re asking you to please not bring these devices.
Yes, if you have a Kindle-type e-Readers then you’re welcome to bring them along. Devices like the Nook Glowlight or Kindle Paperwhite are great. Please do not bring an iPad-like tablet that doubles as an e-Reader. Again, that draw to connect in every WIFI zone is just too tempting! On the flip side, you can also just bring an old fashioned physical book 🙂
If you have any specific questions or concerns about our Tech Policy you can always reach out to us. We’re more than happy to have a conversation about any of this.
Guy & Jess.