Opinion

Michaels: Feel free to Facebook in the wilds this summer

I’ve gathered from the comment section in various news organizations that a recent announcement that wi-fi will be made available in national parks should spark outrage.

So here it is: Darn it, Canada! How dare you ruin the great outdoors by creating the ideal environment for real-time selfie posting?

Facebook in the forest? The horrors.

Instagram for Grizzlies? They don’t deserve my retro filters.

Google Map your way out of a literal hornets’ nest? Quel terrible!

Of course, Parks Canada said high speed Internet will only be implemented at 15 to 20 yet-to-be-confirmed national parks and historic sites, initially.  Depending on the trial’s success a total of 75 may be rolled out over the next three years.

So, if you’re really hell bent on playing Angry Birds instead of listening to the sweet chirps of real birds, there will still be places for you to go.

In fact, there’s a spot in my neighbourhood grocery store where the Internet never works. Feel free to email me if you’re in need of some technological freedom in the wilds of a frozen food section.

But back to the point.

I’m not outraged.

Why anybody would be, is beyond me.

There’s little infrastructure required to implement the wi-fi, and there are already hotspots at a number of visitor centres or administration buildings at many provincial parks across the country, anyway.

It may not be necessary, but it doesn’t hurt.

If a person wants to have a technology-free adventure in the great outdoors, they should absolutely be able to do so.

That can happen by turning off the phone, iPad or laptop.

That’s right frustrated people. There’s an off button and it’s very accessible.

And, the best part about using the off button is that it doubles for an on button, which I’d welcome.

Sure, it’s not ideal to imagine hoards of people hanging around with the glow of their phones reflecting off their faces, rather than the communal campfire, but let’s be reasonable.

The world works differently today than it did for our ancestors. Our bonds are forged with electronics, not flames, and touching base regularly is pretty standard.

In fact, the great outdoors seem slightly less unappealing with Parks Canada putting in an electronic escape route.

So, way to go Parks Canada. I may actually enjoy your offerings this year.

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