My father often recounts his childhood summers in broad nostalgic strokes. He tells stories of traveling across the country with his parents for weeks on end.
They visited state parks, camped under the open sky, and took in all that nature offers. There were no cell phones or personal computers, and social networking was an unknown concept many years from its creation.
They would hike all day and take pictures with actual film cameras.
When they returned, they shared memories with friends using a slide projector and carousel.
In the era my father describes, they rarely carried devices while hiking. They relied on maps, trail knowledge, a compass, and a general sense of direction.
They didn't worry about running out of power. They didn’t have to.
In the thirty-plus years since my father’s stories, things have changed ... big time.
Today we live in the “smartphone era” where people can not only call their friends, relatives, and acquaintances from nearly anywhere in the world but also connect with seemingly anyone online in a matter of seconds and in many ways.
Apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat make sharing experiences, memories, and opening up dialogues wherever you are incredibly easy.
This brings me to the question I have been thinking about for some time.
What place does technology, specifically cell phones, have in the outdoors and on various adventures?
As humans, we long for connection with others. In many ways, we derive our sense of meaning and purpose from interacting with other people.
This used to be fulfilled simply by speaking with others face to face. The rules are changing in a generation filled with picture and text-based communication.
We can tell stories via blogs, social media channels, and live-stream experiences.
Not only can we connect with other people, but GPS apps across various devices and platforms help us navigate through nature and ensure we get to our intended destination.
We love reliving all the wonderful times and memories made together. Pictures help take us back to the times when they were taken.
My friend asked something I had never thought about a few weeks back, “Has there ever been a time when more people had access to cameras?”
An off-the-cuff thought that remains with me.
We now have the ability to collect incredibly high-quality photos on a whole new level. Cell phone cameras are better than most point-and-shoot models -- you can record 4k video -- and filters are more accessible than ever.
In this way, cell phones and their incredible cameras aren’t only nice to have but serve an essential purpose. Keeping these devices powered to capture and share memories is more vital than ever.
Like anything else, bringing technology on trips has its pitfalls.
Many struggle with disconnecting and truly experiencing the great outdoors. They’d rather be with their friends digitally than with their families and friends literally.
There is an actual term associated with those unable to disconnect (nomophobia).
Digital devices aren’t inherently negative, but when cell phones prohibit true experience, they become damaging.
When some are so concerned with documenting travels, they forget to participate. A change should be made.
Cell phones play a vital role in documenting our adventures and helping us share these experiences in real time or at a later date.
If you are going on a trip and will be gone for several days, remaining connected to friends and loved ones is a real concern. Being able to make calls, receive text messages, and post updates is a fantastic luxury and one that is now more mobile than ever before.
Interfacing from anywhere on earth is an incredible gift that deserves to be pursued, and one PowerFilm happily supports.
Post that scenic picture on Instagram. Recount your past day’s journey on your blog. Update the family on Facebook. We can help you make all these connections.
Make sure to participate in these various adventures rather than strictly documenting from the sidelines!
Get out there and pursue the adventure you’ve always wanted to take. We will take care of the power.
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