You Can Still Enjoy The View…If You Want To

 

Photo: Courtesy of CNN

Posted by: Skylar Bergl

Wi-Fi is the currency of today. People line up, spend a couple bucks to get a coffee drink and pop a squat in their favorite coffee shops and milk up their free Wi-Fi service. I’ve done it, and a lot of other people still do it. Now, that wi-fi is on the run with you. Megabus, a service that runs throughout cities in the United States offers wi-fi on their buses as they travel across the country. And now, even Amtrak and Greyhound are joining the party.

According to CNN Amtrak and Greyhound are rapidly trying to capitalize on the ability to offer free wifi to their passengers as they are along for the ride. Part of this seems great. A lot of the passengers that ride on these public transportation lines are people who are on the go, constantly needing to get things done as quickly as they can. But the other side of the coin is more of a commentary on the society that we have become. Many different transportation lines have already gotten on the train (if I may) of adding free wi-fi to their accommodations and while that bodes well for the on the go entrepreneur or busybody executive, what does it say about us?

We are a busy society of people. We have tons of information at the click of a button, or even the scroll of touchscreen phone. With more mobile applications, devices and more mobility, there is becoming less reason for us to be actual human beings riding along on a road trip. I think that the situation it puts us in is a strange one. On one hand, it takes a lot longer on trains/buses than airplanes to get from point A to point B, so adding internet seems like a great way to pass the time. The other thought is how it’s taken away from the experience of seeing our beautiful landscape and simply glaring at a bright screen instead. For someone as “plugged in” as I am, it’s tough to argue against the addition. But as a real American, it’s easy to see the other side as well.

Do you think it’s just want public transit needs? Do you like staring out the windows during long road trips? Are we starting to simply just like looking at screens instead of each other?

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5 responses to “You Can Still Enjoy The View…If You Want To

  1. This is a tricky situation. You give great points for both sides. I am guilty of using wi-fi on buses when traveling for rowing, but only with the intention of actually doing homework. However, I personally would be fine staring at the scenery or getting a chance to dive into a good book with the extra time.

  2. I’m a total techno-phobe, so stuff like this is so creepy to me. Yes, being bored is awful, and it’s normal to find a way to pass time. However, I’m worried that we miss out on more genuine life experiences because we’re too plugged in, which I think is what you’re referencing. We all text, use Facebook and sort our emails religiously, but what enrichment do we get out of these experiences? Technology is unstoppable, no debate needed. Whether it’s in a coffee shop or on a bus, the temptation to use it will always be there. I think it’s up to the individual to decide what is the most valuable way to use technology and time.

  3. I agree with that. In the end, it’s all up to the user when it comes to technology. I’m a totally “plugged in” internet user, so the convenience here is great. But It breaks down to people not being able to handle anything outside the realm of technology. I take solace in road trips. It’s a great time to catch up on the simple things in life. Who know’s where this is really headed. At some point, the internet is simply going to take over. I don’t know how, but it will be unavoidable if it isn’t already.

  4. I think this has got to be up to the passenger. For me personally, I always think I’ll pass the time traveling using the internet, but I actually get distracted by the landscape and the wonderful feeling of slowness while on a long roadtrip. I always pack a book or a movie but I rarely crack either open, believe it or not. So I hardly think the addition of wi-fi could be a bad thing. We’re already heading towards a super-connected future seen in sci-fi movies. I think it’s up to us whether we want to be constantly connected or let the smaller things in life (like taking in the scenery during a roadtrip) remain prevalent.

  5. I’ve taken the Megabus many times, and the Internet has never cooperated. It is very touchy, and only actually works when the bus is stopped, which happens for like 15 minutes during the whole trip. I don’t mind long car or bus trips. My iPod and a book keep me good company. Other though, were not happy customers. Megabus has gotten many complaints about the Internet. I don’t think it’s worth it.

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