Story 2014-04-29 3JH The Solitude of the Internet

The Solitude of the Internet

by
in ask on (#3JH)
The Globe and Mail (among many others) reports that Parks Canada will be adding wireless internet access to many of its wilderness Parks in the near future. The argument is that people still want to be able to connect when they are oot and ab- oot in remote nature.

It's a great dilemma. I know many families where TVs were banned from summer cottages because the point of going back yonder was to get away from all that. These bans are great because boredom leads to other activities when the default or habitual options are taken away. I also remember the first time I ordered off Ebay sitting next to a remote lake with only forests around for miles (okay, kilometers) -- it was exhilarating to think (with enough luck/wealth/etc.) that one could have the best of both worlds. What do Pipedot contributors think about mixing nature with the internet -- something to be embraced or guarded against?
Reply 7 comments

Having the option is great (Score: 2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-04-29 23:32 (#19B)

I don't see anything wrong with making internet available at remote locations. People who want to get away just have to practice some self-restraint and keep all electronic devices powered off.

Re: Having the option is great (Score: 4, Insightful)

by zocalo@pipedot.org on 2014-04-30 14:56 (#19M)

Or just don't take the devices in the first place, although having access to what could be critical information such as weather forecasts and the ability to contact emergency services (not that you should *ever* rely on just a mobile phone for that) might be an issue. It's also sometimes useful to be able to look up information on flora, fauna and geological features that you chance upon that you are curious about for some reason. The flipside is that depending on the location you might not be alone as there are various communal facilities at campsites etc. Even though you might have the disciple to leave your stuff at home or switched off, it doesn't follow that others do, so you would still have other people surfing on their tablets and nattering on their phones while you are trying to be one with nature.

So yes, having the option is great, but that also needs to be backed up with respect for the wishes of others present that might not want to see/hear it and a suitable amount of discretion over when, where and how the option is used.

Dependency (Score: 3, Insightful)

by nightsky30@pipedot.org on 2014-04-30 10:43 (#19H)

It might be nice to have that technical connection if you urgently need some weather or life saving information, but I think it's a distraction otherwise. The first world has become too dependent on technology. We can't seem to put our phones, tablets, whatever down. We are much more disconnected than we think we are, but not in a technical sense. The wifi won't do much for you if Yellowstone does ever happen to go boom. We're better off relearning some basic survival skills. One day, technology may not be here.

Re: Dependency (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-04-30 22:20 (#19S)

You've got a point –and it's the position I'd expect from you, given your awesome user name. Did you catch the eclipse the other day?

Re: Dependency (Score: 1)

by nightsky30@pipedot.org on 2014-05-01 11:34 (#19W)

Thank you for the complement on the username. :) I did not. Sadly it was very cloudy the night of April 15th. I will have to hope for better weather October 8th 2014, April 4th 2015, and September 28th 2015. At least we get a few more chances.

Surprisingly Addictive (Score: 3, Funny)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-04-30 17:06 (#19N)

I took an awesome vacation with the family to the Adirondacks (http://therandymon.com/index.php?/91-Six-Nights-on-Fourth-Lake.html) looking forward to some time away from the Internet and looking forward to some isolation and time to reflect. But dammit if I didn't find myself down on the dock with my Nexus 7, trying to leach the neighbor's wifi connection so I could look some things up on Wikipedia, check email, etc. Surprisingly addictive, this information network. I might try it again and this time go gadget free, but I dunno, maybe that era has come to a close. I'd at least want my ereader so I could do some reading, and a cellphone might be nice, and ...