Connect ... the old way

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Parks Canada announced this week that they will be installing Wi-Fi hotspots in 50 of its national parks this year and will increase that to about 150 over the next few years.

It hasn’t been announced yet which parks will be among the first, but you can be sure it will eventually show up at Gros Morne National Park if the plan proceeds.

A spokesperson for Parks Canada says it will allow campers to keep in touch with work, friends and family while keeping up to date on news and connect with social media.

Oh, dear.

What is the world coming to? Isn’t that why we go to parks in the first place — to get away from the din of the modern world?

Some of those in favour of the change will say that nobody has to be connected if they don’t want to ... but who among us won’t be tempted to check in with the office if they can ... or stream a TV show or two to keep the kids occupied instead of taking them on a hike?

Having Internet hotspots in national parks may attract more visitors, but is the change going to be worth it in the long run?

Parks are meant to be places where nature takes centre stage, where peace and quiet are part of the appeal.

Children who are stuck in stuffy classrooms most of the year and inside gaming on their own time get to see and feel — and hopefully appreciate — a different way of life.

They are offered a chance to learn how to occupy themselves  for a few days or weeks of the summer without gluing their eyes to a screen.

Parks Canada should stick to having a clunky old pay phone at the registration shack for emergency calls and forget about being digitally teathered.

Those who want to be connected can check into a nice hotel and have the world impose on their rest and relaxation all they desire.

As for the rest of us, we can sit around a pit fire roasting marshmallows with only the sound of silence to keep us company.

Organizations: Parks Canada

Geographic location: Gros Morne National Park

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