atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4331: Hey, guess what? Your devices have OFF SWITCHES.

I saw this article yesterday in which the writer laments the fact that our wilderness spaces are rapidly becoming ever more "connected".

How wonderful it is, he says, that we can go places where no WiFi or cellular signal can reach us; where the etherial tendrils of the modern world do not stretch, where all visitors are forced to unplug, disconnect, and experience the real world of nature around them. How terrible it is that technology will soon eradicate even those increasingly-smaller refuges.


Your devices can all be turned off. They don't turn themselves on and force themselves into your face; this isn't the world of Max Headroom where the government has abolished the ability to shut the stuff down. The only thing that forces you to remain connected is you.

If you lack the willpower to shut the junk off and enjoy your trip, it's not anyone's fault other than your own.

I love the idea of being able to surf the Internet from deep in the woods. I love it when I can do something like that, partly because I have some idea of what goes into making it possible. Sitting in my back yard and reading an Internet article used to wow me because I can remember when I had to park my C-64 next to the telephone jack in the kitchen to use the modem. Tethering a laptop to a cell phone and using the cell phone as a wireless access point used to be black magic, shortly before that it was impossible. Now it's commonplace.

For me, the ability to check e-mail and upload photographs from the bush would be awesome.

Further, though, let's consider how much better it would be if people could call for help when something happens to them while they're in the wild places. So-and-so has gone missing--well, we're seeing his cell signal on tower XYZ-theta, so he's got to be within a couple miles' radius of that point. Let's go!

...and the weenies will just have to learn how to turn off their junk. You can unplug any time you want to; the question is, do you want to?

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