Device Deprivation Disorder.


On some of these clear spring days you just know summer is on the way. Maybe it’s the seasonally adjusted gas prices that tell you it’s only matter of time before the tourist hordes invade the Olympic Peninsula. With the miracle of climate change people down south, we call them “climate refugees,” are busy planning trips away from their homes where summertime temperatures get over a hundred or so degrees for weeks on end.

While the locals will complain about a wet rainy summer that’s perfect for the climate refugees who have come north precisely for the cool weather. They think being wet is cool and who am I, a concierge of the tourist industry to argue. I tell tourists if it doesn’t rain in the rainforest you have been cheated out of a unique nature experience. An experience unfortunately, that is often marred by a yawning gap in the infrastructure of this great nation. Our country is tied together with a network of cell phone reception that is necessary for our quality of life.

According to some study somewhere, American teens spend an average of nine hours a day online, compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12. Then the parents of these unfortunate prodigy, who if truth be told would just as soon be on their own phone as talk to another family member, drive the family out into the wilderness where they have to go cold turkey with no devices just because some mountains or trees get in the way of phone reception.

The fact is, there are embarrassing gaps in cell phone reception all over the Olympic Peninsula. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but you’re not a guide in the trenches of the tourist industry dealing with people suffering from device depravation disorder, who discover they have been lured to a backwoods dead-zone where none of their devices work. This is a problem!

I have personally observed the effects of device depravation disorder on humans in the wilderness. At first, they are confused. They think nobody likes them and in all probability nobody does. People on devices have a hard time with personal relationships. They have a lot of anxiety that seems to be based on a vague belief that everyone else has it better than they do which I can identify with since in my case, it happens to be true.

People forcibly deprived of their devices will sometimes be forced to talk to other people in an effort to establish human contact without phone service. People with device depravation disorder often panic while assuming something has gone terribly wrong with their world. It has.

As long as people are on devices, they are just tired and stressed. Once the device stops working the thin veneer of civility dissolves. Sometimes, people with device depravation disorder are forced to take notice of the natural world that is all around us. You can walk through a forest of thousand-year old trees, go to beaches where the whales spout and waterfalls you can watch the salmon jump over. If only the cell phone worked. Nobody is going to like these scenic splendors if you can’t get them on social media.

By neglecting to address the scourge of device depravation disorder and its’ effects on the recreational wonderland of the Olympic Peninsula, we risk losing our share of the tourist market to areas that provide this essential service. Reliable, universal cell phone coverage for tourists is an idea whose time has come. We’ll thank ourselves later if we do the right thing now.