What is free wifi really costing you?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Teens sharing a song. Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolescence

Teens sharing a song. Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolescence

Life is Bigger than the Screen by Julia Shohbozian

We can access wifi just about anywhere for free. This access makes an impulsive habit to make sure you are connected wherever you go. After all, why not? It is this “why not?” mentality between consumers and businesses that creates a net of wifi that we are all caught up in. Granted, wifi is great at coffee shops and schools, maybe even restaurants. It’s not so great at parks and camp sights. When my phone notifies me that there is wifi available, I feel the need to take the opportunity, even if I really don’t need wifi at that time.

It’s a habit I think we should try to break.

“….A way of life that keeps saying, ‘Around the next corner, above the next step,’ works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy and good that only a few get to where they would naturally have been in the first place – Happy and Good – and the rest give up and fall by the side of the road, cursing the world, which is not to blame but which is there to help show the way.” — The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

I recently went to Disneyland with friends and you would not believe the amount of people, parents on their phones. Here’s the thing, take your pictures, but posting them on Facebook and/or Instagram can wait. It sets a bad example for children. Teach them to stay in the moment. I think children are sometimes way more present than adults. They don’t have as many options for distractions, both because they (hopefully) don’t have social media and they don’t have as many responsibilities. Responsibilities do come with being an adult, but not being on social media might help you let go of them for a while. Same goes for checking on your social media. Whatever other people are doing or posting shouldn’t matter when you’re spending time out with your friends and family. I mentioned that wifi isn’t a great thing at parks and camp sights. And I can’t stress that enough. I understand how addicting social media can be.  I try not to be irritated by people who check it when we’re out doing something. It’s not any of our faults. Wifi is way too accessible and it makes it way too convenient to check and post on your social media. Why not connect, why not check, why not post that picture now?

How about why not enjoy the moment and the view? That way, we won’t have to worry about missing a great real-life moment because we were busy on our phones.



 Julia Shobozian

Julia Shobozian

A junior in high school, Julia Shohbozian left her traditional high school campus at the end of her sophomore year, and opted for an independent study program which gives her freedom to take more classes at Sierra College and engage in community work. She serves on the Placer County Youth Commission and the Leadership Committee for the Coalition for Placer Youth.

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.