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Thread: A few questions...

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Thanked 372 Times in 193 Posts

    Default Cell Phones and MW

    There's some great articles in the summer/fall issue of Appalachia (the AMC journal which comes out twice a year). In particular "Giving Ourselves Time to Track Time" by Laura Waterman, Guy's wife.

    "Hikers coming to the mountains these days are dealing with some very complex time issues. The temptation is to multitask. You're "just" walking up the trail, so you could be talking to your secretary or your business partner or even your mother at the same time. Or, you could be listening to your iPod.

    Well, sure. But if you do, you're no longer aware of the birds or noticing the undergrowth or paying attention to the play of light and shadow across the path you're walking on. If you're with someone—your friend, your spouse, your child—you're not paying attention to them, either. Even though you're at this moment walking through the woods and in nature, you're not part of it. You're disconnected. You're absorbed only in listening to the words, the tunes, coming into your ear, and you're missing all the wildness that surrounds you. You're disconnected from your friend, spouse, child, too. In fact, you're disconnected from yourself because you're mentally in the space of the phone call or the iPod program and physically in the woods. You've split yourself.

    Thinking about this makes me ask: How can we care for land, for wild land, if we disconnect ourselves from it—even when we're in it? How can we truly care for that to which we aren't connected? If we don't want this kind of disconnected relationship to land, what can we do?

    We can stop. We can just stop! If we don't want to disconnect and experience those fractured feelings that leave us unhappy, dissatisfied, then ... connect. Restraint is necessary here, even modification of habit.

    (Memo: On the next mountain trip leave the cell, the iPod, etc., at home.)

    Now that we've put ourselves in a position to connect, we can feel respect, for surely we can't care for that for which we feel no respect. By feeling respect for the woods, the land, wild land, wildness itself, we'll be giving ourselves time to be fully in it. We'll feel respect for time itself because we're giving ourselves time to savor it. And this leads to the most important thing of all. We can respect ourselves. We're no longer clumsily fighting time, but by gracefully being in ourselves, in the land, and in time, you might say we've put ourselves in a state of grace."

    Enough said. Thanks Laura.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Wahiawa, HI
    Thanked 9 Times in 5 Posts



    I'm glad you shared that article because it is true. Technology has robbed us from being able to disconnect from the busyness of life and to truly relax and enjoy our surroundings and family. We, as a society, need this time to be alone with ourselves and families and nature so we can stay connected to what matters most in life. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the technological advancements as much as the next guy but self control is key here. Take the cell phone with you but shut it off or leave it in the tent. Use it only for something critically important. Allow the natural surroundings to fill your senses and capture your soul. There is so much more to life than our modern conveniences. I have been there in that I used to "live" behind the computer. It took up all of my time outside of work and even when I would go on vacation I would still be on the phone or laptop. I can tell you from experience that it does not make for a happy family.
    Is there really any BAD weather???

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    North Kingstown RI
    Thanked 17 Times in 6 Posts


    Good article. While the technology is nice, when I go for a walk in the woods I want to experience the woods, nature and the place that I am in and what it contains.
    Gene .. just one more Swamp Yankee from RI.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Wayne New Jersey
    Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts

    Question What did people do before there were cell phones??

    I don't have a cell phone nor will I ever have one. I won't get into the reasons why here, it is not the place. I will only say the last thing I want to hear in the woods or at night in a shelter is someone on a cell phone. If you feel you need it for an emergency then leave it in your pack and use it for that purpose only. I don't understand why people need to use cell phones in the back country unless it is for an emergency. What did people do before there were cell phones????

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Oneco, CT
    Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts


    I've found Verizon to be very spotty on Mt. Washington. There have been times that I've got very good reception while sitting on Lion's Head - but just this past Saturday, with great visibility and next to no wind, I couldn't make a call from the same spot . . .
    And still couldn't from Pinkham Notch either.
    It's truly in and out . . .

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