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Devices and Naturism.
As a blogger writing about naturism, it is part of my research that I read the blogs and posts of other writers. The more you look for naturist blogs, the more you find, and there is a lot of very good content out there on the internet. It appears that articles written about naturism are far less likely to contain the sexualised content that permeates the primarily visual social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram, and many of the blogs are well worth the read.
I recently subscribed to a blog site called Naturistplace. One of the topics on their site got me thinking, which in turn got me writing, and here we are.
There were many reasons given in the blog as to why younger people may struggle to engage with naturism, especially established naturist venues. Young families often have fewer resources such as independent transport, disposable income and perhaps most importantly, time. Add to this the fact that many naturist venues may not be focussed on the needs of younger families, and there is little surprise that organised naturism is out of reach for many younger people, no matter how much they might want to engage with the lifestyle.
Upon reflection of the many factors in the articles, it seemed to miss one reason that is often overlooked, and that is the matter of devices and connectivity.
I can only talk from my own experience, but many of the naturist venues that I have visited have very poor internet connections (perhaps due to their remote location) and often have a “No Phone” policy. I understand the reason for the policy as phones are so much more these days, and it would seem that the ban is actually a no-camera policy, to protect the privacy of others at the venue.
I am not sure what it is like elsewhere in the world, but I imagine that the rules are similar. Here in New Zealand, we tend to follow the lead of other countries in developing policy, so I would be surprised if we were the only country with device restrictions at our naturist venues.
Many younger people are tethered to their phones and devices and find it difficult to relax without them. These people are unlikely to rest and unwind if the internet signal is poor or non-existent. A large part of their sense of well-being depends upon being digitally connected.
For very good reasons, phones are not encouraged at naturist events, to protect people from un-consented photos and images. But it is not just about cameras on phones. These devices are so much more. Calendars, appointments, shopping lists, maps, and the list goes on. So much of how people live today is wrapped up in these little electronic portals to the internet.
As someone who works partly in the digital world, both professionally and as a blogger, I have been frustrated by the poor internet connections at naturist venues. Nothing to do with cameras or private images, just simply that the joy of writing while sitting in a pleasant natural space is hampered when there is no internet connection to check research or publish the content. My professional role is in technical sales and is not limited to 9-5, Monday to Friday. My job depends upon responding quickly to my customers. It is not uncommon for me to work on quotes or emails outside normal office hours. Professionally, my preference is to deal with issues there and then. I am reluctant to wait till Monday, as by 6 am Monday, I am often driving several hundred kilometres to an appointment and the last thing I need to worry about is replying to an email that came in over the weekend.
So much of our lives are dependent upon being connected, and while there is a strong argument for disconnecting and relaxing, an increasing percentage of the population is unable to relax without being connected digitally. Making sure that there is a good internet connection and allowing devices to be used is one way to provide a more welcoming environment to younger people. There have to be strict rules about photos and consent of course, but this should be the same anywhere, not just naturist venues.
Clothed or unclothed, I wouldn’t post an image of someone without first asking for their permission. It is a basic courtesy.
I understand that welcoming phones into naturist venues is a big hurdle and something many of us are uncomfortable with. I am not sure that it is a hurdle that can be overcome, but the lack of connection to the digital world may well be one of a number of reasons that younger people are reluctant to engage in naturism.
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.