I’ve recently noticed a new trend: wilderness-iPhone usage. Even a few years ago it would have been unseemly to be caught fiddling with that type of advanced technology while simultaneously enjoying nature’s bounty; but I believe we are now more willing to pair diverse leisure activities like hiking + twittering. (Tweeting)
Case study 1: iPod in the Tent
A few weeks ago I crossed the country via automobile with my significant other, and we found ourselves in a tent in the gorgeous Moonflower canyon campground in Moab, UT. The canyon walls were a palette of browns and reds at sunset, the wind rustled lightly in the trees, and various canyon insects chirped intermittantly. But we’ve slept with a fan in the room for the last 4 years…how would we ever fall asleep without the comforting fan whirring in the corner? Luckily we had the White Noise iPhone app installed on my iPod, so we set it to the ‘Stream Water Flowing’ noise and turned the sound all the way up. Ironic! It’s like nature squared!
Case study 2: iPhone hiking
Last weekend I hiked with my roommate at Mount Diablo, and he couldn’t stop pulling out his iPhone. He’d get a text from some friend and feel compelled to read it, chuckle to himself, and respond while walking and falling behind. I couldn’t decide if it was rude or not…what exactly is the etiquette for simulatenous hiking and wikipedia reading? For hiking + yelping? For hiking + facebook? My intuition is that it’s not only rude, but extremely maladaptive; placing so much of your attention on such a device leaves you vulnerable to calamities like bear maulings, wildcat attacks, tripping over roots or rocks, and getting clotheslined by a well-placed branch. I’m just saying.