To cell or not to cell
You spent thousands of dollars to see whales with your own eyes in Alaska, and then watch them through a 5-inch screen. Does that make any sense?
When you’re on an Alaska cruise, it’s natural to be amazed at all of the unspoiled wild beauty that surrounds you. At any given moment you may see a glacier, a bear, or a breaching whale. One time I saw all three at once! When these amazing events take place right in front of your eyes, you may want to whip out your cell phone and try to capture the moment. However, sometimes it’s better to keep your cell phone out of sight and simply enjoy the moment. This blog is all about when and where it makes sense to take full advantage of this modern technological wonder.
Nature happens fast
Many things that happen in nature are over in the blink of an eye. A prime example is a shooting star. If you see a shooting star, you already know that there’s no time to pull out your cell phone and take a video. However, you may not know much about Alaska. Pulling out your phone under certain circumstances could cause you to miss the moment. That’s no fun. Let’s outline some of the more common Alaska events and decide whether a cell phone makes each moment better.
Scenario #1 – The Northern Lights
The northern lights, also called the Aurora Borealis, is one of the most amazing natural events you will ever see. Because I live in Alaska, I see them quite frequently. There are times I may get out my cell phone and snap a photo or two. What this has taught me is that cell phone photos of the northern lights suck. If you’re lucky enough to see the northern lights while on your Alaska cruise, savor every moment and keep your cell phone locked away. They may only last for a minute or two and your pictures aren’t going to be any better than mine.
Scenario #2 – A Bear
Everyone that comes to Alaska wants to see some wildlife, and bears are arguably at the top of everyone’s list. Much like the northern lights, bears may not hang around for very long, so you’re probably better off keeping your cell phone in your pocket. Sometimes a bear is lounging around and acting the fool. If this happens you may think about pulling out your phone for a photo. Don’t. Unless you’re just a few feet away from the bear, your photo will be garbage because cell phones don’t have zoom lenses. Bring binoculars instead and make everyone on the tour bus really jealous.
Scenario #3 – Breaching Whale
Breaching is when a whale jumps out of the water. You’ve seen photos of breaching whales and they look incredible. You are never going to get a photo like that. If you’re lucky enough to see a whale breaching, enjoy it and tell the story to friends back home. By the time you get out your phone to take a photo, the whale will be back in the water and you will have a photo of water.
Scenario #4 – You Get A Phone Call
Let’s say you get a phone call in the middle of the tour, should you answer it? No. Nobody wants to hear you flapping your gums in the middle of a tour for which they paid good money. They want to hear the tour guide. If you think it may be an emergency, text them back. Hint: It’s not an emergency.
As you can see, there aren’t many good reasons to pull out a cell phone when you’re on tour. If you’re by the Welcome to Alaska sign or have some free time on your helicopter tour, by all means, take out your cell phone and go nuts. However, if using your cell phone impacts another person’s enjoyment of the tour or causes you to miss something amazing, just keep it in your pocket and prove you don’t have a cellular addiction.