WIFI – How important is has become on the road

WIFI – How important it has become on the road.

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It has come to my attention since I’ve been in South America, that a lot more people use WIFI here when at hostels, restaurants and transport depots. I mean, the internet is everywhere right? I look around constantly and everyone is using their smart phones or devices to be messaging, recording or doing something all on a provided WIFI connection. I’m currently writing this article on a bus to Itacare, North East Brazil. So no, I’m not currently in a hostel using WIFI, however I will be to publish this later using hostel WIFI. Double edged sword.

WIFI in general, using our smart phones, I believe it brings a sense of closure to the user, to show others that there is other people who care about them in this world, wherever they are, or there are people who are MORE important than the ones opposite them. This may be the case of course, but it almost ends the awkwardness that can be brought when sat with strangers, someone you have little in common with or someone from a different nation. Looking down and using your thumbs to message whoever almost is the attitude of, ‘I have friends, someone wants to speak to me, I must reply to them’. It’s almost an ego boosting scenario. Yet, is it all that important to check Facebook? Don’t get me wrong, I use a number of social networking sites. I do use WIFI when it’s available but really only to stop the mountains of notifications and messages building up. Even that sentence seems ego boosting right? For me it’s true though, and for many others too. I just think we have became so reliant on using WIFI as a get-out clause, a confidence booster or a extra added comfort that we forget we are in a world with many things to do.

When I began backpacking in 2012 across the shores of Asia, I had a Blackberry Bold, with a bad megapixels camera, a slow engine and awkward to carry around. I took some photos, barely any that I do now with my new IPhone ( I saw new but its an IPhone 4 I bought from a second hand electronics shop.  Yet, back then, I would update a status every now and then, no real photos uploaded apart from the odd one or two, and add anyone knew I met if I wanted to keep contact with them or meet somewhere at a later date. Now, this seems a lot in comparison but honestly it wasn’t. I would go days without using WIFI, exploring the new surroundings that were infront of me. Too much into doing or seeing something unique to me than worrying about what people thought of my photos or travels, or people moaning about the weather back home or what sh!te had been on TV. No way.

As years go on and technology advances, more and more apps, social networking sites are available, to boast about our lives, glorify them to be better than they really are. Is it really living in the moment, experiencing something for what it is, live, infront of you, the sight, the atmosphere, the feeling, whilst holding your smart phone up to record photos and videos? I don’t think so. For example, you go to watch a concert for what impact it has on you naturally, there and then. Not to record it, replay it on Facebook and boast about it? You may aswell look for a job in media for that and get paid for it.  Despite that, especially in travel, it’s great to record your memories. Some people only travel the once, for the experience, dipping their toe in the water, others make it their life.

You hear the ever more, “Have you got WIFI here? Great, whats the password?’ I have been guilty of this myself on the occasions so this isn’t something I’m exempt of. I’ve been influenced by the availability of it too. I wish we could put it at the back of our minds and think, ‘Wow, we are here, somewhere new, new people, new sites, let’s see this first’. Record it and talk about it later. Enough talking more doing.

 

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