Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take a Number...

Image: 'Happiness Queue' -

So, a couple of weeks ago, I tossed a tweet out on Twitter about how happy I was to have successfully set up a wireless router at the lake. Little did I know, the novelty would wear off way faster than I had anticipated, almost to the point that I wish we still weren't connected while spending time at the cottage.

First, a little context. The cottage is a log cabin located in Siglavik, which is a series of dredged channels along the shores of Lake Winnipeg, just south of Gimli, Manitoba. Siglavik is a little slice of paradise, less than an hour away from my doorstep in Winnipeg, yet it feels so incredibly remote. While spending time at the cottage, it's so easy to forget about the commitments and the responsibilities that await your return in the big city. We go for boat rides, we kayak, ride our bikes into the town of Gimli, walk along the beach, golf a little - life at the lake is far from roughing it. Check it out for yourself - it's a really unique location:

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Up until this year, the only thing I thought we were lacking to complete the experience was the internet... boy, was I wrong! Yeah, it's great to be able to Skype with friends and family who are far away. I love the power of being able to access Google to find out what kind of bird has built it's nest in our yard. And having the opportunity to share photos of this location with my online network is very powerful, indeed.

But it comes with a price - the downfall of being connected. When there's easy access to the internet, you feel compelled to check your e-mail several times a day. You find reasons to open up your laptop or pull out your iTouch on a regular basis. Being connected takes away that remoteness that used to go hand in hand with coming out to the lake.

And it's not just me who feels this. The thing that I've noticed above all others is just how much EVERYONE has come to value the ability to stay connected. My wife has spent more time online in the last two weeks than she did in the last two months - just because she can... My mother-in-law's been surfing YouTube for days, viewing and sharing all kinds of questionable content. My father-in-law's been monitoring weather forecasts several times an hour and reporting the updates in real-time. What ever happened to looking out the window or stepping outside to find out what the weather's like?

It's almost gotten to the point where I can't even get my hands onto a computer because everyone else has too many technology related things to do. All of a sudden, I'm not the only geek in the room ;-)

I've gotta take a number just to get a turn on my own computer...

I've come to the conclusion that life at the lake should always be


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