Opinion: Yellowstone Park Seeks To Foolishly Improve Cell Service
If you enjoy getting away from the headaches of city life and your job from time to time by spending a couple of days at a place like Yellowstone National Park, there are some "improvements" park officials are trying to make that will ultimately turn your desire for a serene nature getaway into the likes of a modern day concert experience.
Let me begin by saying that we, as human beings, have to stop thinking we need our damn cell phones everywhere we go. We are completely out of control in this day and age. I recently returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park, and couldn't believe what I had witnessed.
Prior to my August adventure, the last time I visited the world's first national park was in 2013. About a dozen of us--ages six to 66--took an all-day snowmobile trip through the park, went out for pizza in West Yellowstone, visited a museum and raised some hell in the swimming pool of a lodge we stayed at. It was an amazing trip, and I don't remember anybody being on their phones any longer than the amount of time it takes to snap a photo.
My most recent trip was the polar opposite. Thousands of people jockeying for a position in which to film every animal they came across, adults sprinting across the highway before their children exited the car, and group selfies in front of EVERYTHING!. That was about it, in a nutshell. Yes, I took pictures, but I also took out this thing called a map, and didn't need the Internet to point me in the right direction.
Yellowstone National Park now wants public comment on how to expand Internet and cell phone services. It's an effort to better meet "critical needs," according to the recent release. The only critical need, I need, is to get lost in the beauty of such a special, and incredibly prodigious natural wonder such as Yellowstone Park. We are running out of untapped real estate just about everywhere in this country.
We don't need better signals. We need a break from societal chaos. From the time I clock in at work, to the time I leave, I've received hundreds of texts, emails, reminders and invites in a given week. When I leave town for the weekend, the only reminder I need is that life is ridiculously short, and we need our parks to provide us as much of a harmonious diversion as possible.