In heading to the rustic wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State for a week, one realizes the strong reliance many of us have developed on our wireless devices, be they cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or other assorted battery-powered, handheld devices. They are used to communicate, to keep track of daily schedules--in short, to organize our lives in the daily quest for increased productivity. It is becoming rare to find acreage the size of the Adirondack State Park without cell sites or repeaters or the other infrastructure signs of "wireless civilization." Of course, park rangers have their own two-way radio service for communications within the woods. But for most visitors, a trip to the mountains represents time away from their wireless connectivity, and such addictions as the Internet and text messaging.
As an aging member of our population, it is not difficult for this writer to remember a time without cellular telephones when portable communications was so readily available. But human nature is such that, once new tools are available that can bring convenience and ease to life, they are eagerly embraced and a dependence forms. Adirondack State Park serves as a good test bed for evaluating "technology addiction" to cellular phones and PDAs, and to determine whether visitors can readily adapt to life at a simpler time, or if they will start to uncontrollable crave their cellular companion. For the results of this informal test, tune into the next issue of "MRF UPDATE" and we'll let you know about a week without wireless.