Welcome to Camp Wi-Fi

Connected campingNPR — the American multimedia news service formerly known as National Public Radio – recently reported on a new trend: wireless Internet access popping up in, of all places, campgrounds.

“Now it’s just like having a water line or a telephone or any other basic amenity. You basically need it to do business,” said Kathy Palmeri, who owns Jellystone Campground near Estes Park, Colo., and recently invested in wi-fi for her customers — no easy task in a mountainous region.

It seems like a no-brainer that modern mankind’s need to reach out across cyberspace wherever they go would follow vacationers as they leave civilization behind for the great outdoors. But the story struck a sour note with many listeners and readers, such as this one:

Shame on you! All of you! No one else in the campground wants to hear you watching mixed martial arts, porn, or anything else. The rest of us are in the woods to get away from twits like you! Your friends back home are jealous of you and don’t want to hear what a terrific time you’re having. You are degrading your own vacation and you stand to degrade the vacations of all those around you. Turn it off!

Sadly, while their hearts are in the right place, those offended by the story are soon to be in the minority, if they aren’t already. As we move more of our lives into the cloud with online budgeting tools, journaling and the limitless power of social networking at our fingertips, portable devices are only going to become more integral to our everyday existence.

What do you think? Do you switch off when you leave the city lights behind?

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