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Old 03-25-2015, 04:07 PM   #1
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Something funny (or sad)

Last time we were out camping at one of our favorite spots, we saw something that concerned me somewhat. I chuckled at the time, and DW and I remarked on how sad it was.

We were up enjoying the night by our "campfire" (it's a propane fire made by Camco called a "Little Red Campfire"; great little gadget).

The campsite next to us was occupied by a family of 4; man, wife, teenage girl, pre-teen boy.

So anyway, we were sitting there enjoying the night when we looked over at their campsite. We noticed their fire, we noticed all of them sitting around the fire peacefully. Then we noticed that each one of their faces was aglow from the light of one gadget or another. All 4 of them were sitting around the campfire not acknowledging eachother at all, just staring into their devices.

DW and I were sad for them. We thought how much more meaningful a time they would have had if they had been talking to eachother, enjoying eachother's company. Telling jokes, or stories, or singing, or stargazing, or watching the Armadillos, or chasing the raccoon away from the back side of their camper...

To each their own I guess, but we go camping to get away from all that stuff, and it's VERY refreshing not having a glowing iPad or whatnot in our face. The iPad will be there when I get home and I'll have plenty of time to deal with all that...

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:23 PM   #2
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I take my iPad and a WiFi hotspot but use them mainly for planning a route, checking the weather forecast, finding cheap gas, locating someplace to overnight, or making a reservation. It's a tool, not a lifestyle.

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Old 03-25-2015, 04:32 PM   #3
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Reminds me of the firehouse......Its ok for me though cause I'm on JOF
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:03 PM   #4
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Its why some of the best camping was when we had no cell phone service, no TV, no Wifi, and little radio. We sat outside each night ( we worked there for 6 months) visiting with other work kampers and campers. Telling tall tales about our youthful exploits and thoroughly enjoying nature. We all still keep in touch and have often commented on how enjoyable that summer was. I have to laugh when people want to go camping and then complain they can't stream movies over the wifi, especially in remote areas. Hell if thats all you call camping then stay in your driveway and save the gas. You come to a beautiful place and then expect all the amenities of a large city. Only shows how out of touch people really are, and how they have no clue what is important.

Our kids remember the little things, not the big trips. A water balloon fight, or eating really bad food cooked over a fire...watching a movie, reading a text will not be remembered the next day, let alone 40 years from how. I too feel sorry for those folks, they will "never get it".

I could tell similar stories about folks sitting and texting, not paying attention to anyone or anything around them...pitiful really.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:43 AM   #5
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I will admit that I get frustrated when I don't have a cell signal or if I can't get reception on the TV antenna. But only for a moment. Then I realize that means I'm free. Free of any worries that might come over the phone in the form of emails from clients. Free of the woes of the world coming over the news wire. Once I realize I have no cell signal, I get a little lighter on my feet, I turn my phone off and walk outside and take a deep breath and can literally feel the weight lifting off my chest. I will go back in, find a good country radio station so I can hear if the weather is going to turn unexpectedly and get on about the important stuff like cuddling with my son and my wife.

Having an infant son brings to light all the important things. I'm terribly afraid of missing all those moments, so I soak them up the best I can because I know how fleeting they are.

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Old 03-26-2015, 11:57 AM   #6
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Our family used to camp with extended family back in the late 90's and early 2000's, and we couldn't get a cell signal (and I think I may have been the only one who had a cell phone at the beginning!).
Circumstances made my family miss a few years, and when we went again in 2013, I was deeply sadden by the fireside atmosphere....other than me, everyone was either on a Blackberry, Iphone, or Ipad, and I do believe one person was was silent, no one was telling jokes or stories (like we did just a few years ago).
When I go camping with my kids, l let them have their phones to take photos, but when we are around the fire, I want conversation and mashmellow toasting!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:34 PM   #7
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I like to store the cell phone when we camp. We switch over to 2 way radio if I am out on a boat or on a walk.
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar. Abraham Lincoln

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Old 03-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #8
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The DW and I are a bit addicted to the game "Trivia Crack" and we will sit in the living room and play each other until one of us wins. I'll admit I'm a bit of a phone junkie but I get no data at most of the CGs we go to so the phone stays in the camper.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:38 PM   #9
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I am lucky I guess. I use my Cell/Laptop to keep up on News and/or to post photos but really try to limit it to those times when I'm alone. My Wife has a cell, checks it on occasion but for the most part leaves it in the trailer. My Daughter, she likes to get online when bored, but when she is with a buddy on the campground we never see her. So the key for me is to keep the Daughter Busy with a friend, when she is not out with Mom in the Kayak.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:41 AM   #10
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Maybe that family you were observing staring into their Iphones (or Ipads, or whatever) had a video of a crackling fire.

Sometimes folks forget what a "real" event is all about; everything to them is from what they view off of an electronic device. Too sad.

I've been in the telecommunications (telephony) business for 35 years now. From x/y telephone switching systems (remember "land line" phones in your house to make a telephone call?), to cell phone and wifi of today. It's been a great ride for me work wise, but I still can't stand talking on a phone!

I never could understand either how someone can stare into a 3 inch screen for hours, especially when your loved ones are next to you, or the wide world (not world wide web) is right there in plain view.

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Old 04-11-2015, 02:15 PM   #11
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We've seen people clear a campsite of dead leaves - using a gas-powered leaf blower! We've seen people start their campfires with blow torches. We've had to report people running their generators at the wrong times, so their kids could watch cartoons. "But my grandson is asthmatic," one woman said, and we asked why, then, she had brought him to a Forest Service campground that's very, very dusty.

Me, I'm a writer, so I just make notes about these people, and sooner or later, they'll show up in a novel. Meantime, we agree: half funny, half sad.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:31 PM   #12
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When I camp, I want to relax and spend time with family. I want to enjoy the great outdoors and commune with nature. If I have to have all the conveniences of home, I'll just camp in my driveway...
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:54 PM   #13
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………..Its why some of the best camping was when we had no cell phone service, no TV, no Wifi, and little radio……………..and to add to that, NO Air Conditioniing!
When I camped with my parents in the 60's, in the summer, at the beach in N.C., everyone was outside, sitting around, talking, swatting mosquitoes, and getting to know each other. Hardly anyone had airconditioning, and it they did, it was probably a window unit stuck in the side somewhere. We made friendships that lasted for years to come. Still, some of todays modern conveniences are a nice touch! Kind of funny, Our 5'er we have now is two-thirds as long as the mobile home we lived in for 3 years after we got married! It didn't have AC either! But, we survived!
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:06 PM   #14
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After our first trip I removed our television. We don't go camping to watch the idiot box, I can stay home and do that.

I kinda hate smartphones, people get plugged in and don't see the world around them. A couple weeks ago a lady left the build staring into her phone, who knows doing what. Walk across the parking lot, down the stairs never looking up, went to walk across the street, again never looking up, and walked into the back quarter panel of a moving bus. Only thing she said was hurt was her pride.

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Old 04-15-2015, 06:10 PM   #15
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It rained all night here. This morning I looked out and saw the car next to me with 2 windows down. I knocked on the MH door at 8 and 9am. No response. At 11:30 someone came out and rolled them up.
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