• Take a hike: How much do we rely on tech?

    Camping hiking technology media nwIndiana

    Three weeks ago I ventured into Isle Royale National Park for a five day backpacking trip. Isle Royale is one of the most remote national parks in the United States and I was without my phone and internet for the entire time. I got a lot of thinking done while hiking around the island and being without technology for a week was a welcome inconvenience during the excursion. 

    There can be a big fear of missing out on news or social media posts when being away from the internet, but let me tell you that I didn’t miss a thing. I stepped right back into society without missing a beat. There were times when I would have liked to post an update, but instead I kept a journal. The advantage of keeping the journal is that it is personal. No one knew what happened on my trip but me. It was a unique experience that I can now retell to friends and family, instead of a series of posts that could be forgotten in a few hours.

    Being without internet can definitely make things more challenging. Usually when I don’t know how to do something I just do a quick Google search. But when I needed a refresher on knots for my hammock, the internet wasn’t available. However, that knowledge was still out there, but the vehicle was different. I consulted a fellow hiker and he was able to give me a quick hands-on lesson in knots.

    Also, not having GPS and the lack of mile markers had me guessing to where exactly I was along my hike. I could estimate where I was at, but I never knew for sure. There were questions I had about random things I thought about, and the Web wasn’t there to answer them for me. Being away from technology made me realize how much I relied on it for basically every question I have.

    Not knowing the answer to every question in my mind allowed me to think deeper about subjects that I am not proficient in. It made me realize that I still have so much to learn. It also confirmed to me that the content in my social media platforms isn't always impactful. I sometimes spend too much time checking social media platforms, and for what? What percent of posts that are truly memorable? This trip made me realize that things I do in the physical world are a lot more memorable and fulfilling than things I observe in the digital world. Real experiences are very memorable and not easily replaced.