There’s so much negativity in the air. Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. Donald Trump and … everybody.
It’s very hard not to know who is mad at who, because it appears to be all anybody wants to talk about on social media anymore. In fact, it was on Twitter where Swift and Minaj even began their squabble. Oh, and Katy Perry chimed in too.
Things like this always make me wish I just could get away from social media. I don’t think social media generally harms people’s quality of life, but, for the most part, I definitely do not think it improves anyone’s life.
But rather than deactivating my Facebook account during times like this, I’ve got a better plan. A road trip to Green Banks, West Virginia.
Situated in this small town is the world’s largest steerable radio telescope. Stretching 485 feet into the air and weighing 17 million pounds, the telescope, called the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, can hear radio waves from hundreds of millions of miles away. It attracts researchers from all over the world.
In order to maintain its efficiency, people who live in the town must abide by severe restrictions. Meaning no radio transmission. Meaning no wireless.
Meaning no cell phones.
Millennials may not even grasp this concept, but up until about 20 years ago, most people did not have cell phones. I’m not talking about smart phones, I mean straight-up cell phones. And it was absolutely fine.
Green Bank is in the National Radio Quiet Zone, which are heavily controlled by the U.S. to facilitate scientific research and military intelligence.
And next time I want to take a vacation to get away from it all, I’m going there.
Some 140 people live there, as of the 2010 census. As far as I am concerned, this is the new Amish country. Except they don’t live like it’s colonial times, but like it’s 1991. And 1991 was a pretty damn good time. I was 4 and didn’t know anything about the world.
I would love to be off the grid for a while. Who knows, maybe I would eventually come to miss my cell phone, and maybe — maybe — even Facebook. I mean, it is the only place on Earth where I can scroll past a serious political post, an emoji, a birth announcement and somebody taking a selfie in front of Stonehenge all at the same time.
With no cell phones, people in Green Banks most likely take the time to actually converse with one another. And the only difference between their day and my day today is that they don’t know about the Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj Twitter feud.
Who’s day sounds better?
… I’m on #TeamTaylor, by the way.