Being naked is gloriously wonderful. Being naked of my cell phone? Nightmare! Yet prohibiting cell phones is becoming common practice at nudist camps and results. This may make complete sense to an older person who wants to prevent their image from being uploaded to any of the crazy websites that are so easy to find, but to a young person, such a policy is reason to not even consider going to a nudist locale. The topic of cell phones and other electronic devices is a hot one in the nudist community right now and it’s time for us to take a stand and offer a solution that will make sense to everyone. This is an area within nudism that just can’t wait as we see so few young people within nudism in general (outside of YNA) and creating policies against electronic devices will only discourage young people from visiting nudist locations even more!
Let’s start with a fun review of the facts, shall we? According to statistics, spending on cell phones is now higher than spending on landlines in the USA. Roughly 85% of all adults own a cell phone. Among the young adults, 94% of those ages 18-34, 92% of those ages 35-46; by contrast, 48% of those over the age of 75 own a cell phone. As those of us who use a cell phone frequently know, the cell phone is not just a phone and the talking feature really is one of the less-used features. Instead, the cell phone is used for texting, internet use, checking email, playing games, taking pictures, listening to music, reading books, calculating numbers, making lists, checking the stats on sports, and so much more.
Statistics on the age those who go to nudist campgrounds or are members of nudist campgrounds are available, but my own informal study of numerous nudist camps on the East Coast of America- done with my very own eyes- indicates that most members and visitors are over the age of 60 and the percentage of people who participate in nude recreation at nudist camps decreases as the age decreases.
The question, then, is what the statistics and information mean. First, since nudist camps are businesses and they want to keep their membership numbers up, the camps are most likely going to honor the desires of those who are older before they honor the desires of the younger crowds: there is power in numbers and, in a nudist location, there is money in the number of older folks. Second, because there are fewer older folks who use cell phones, there is a higher likelihood that they don’t realize how much the younger folks do on the cell phone. For many older folks, a cell phone is there to make phone calls and, since they all have cameras in them now, to take pictures. From my standpoint, there is a definite lack of knowledge of all the crazy things the younger generation does on the cell phone and there is also a lack of understanding that young people actually feel anxious or emotionally distressed when separated from their phone. There is actually a name for the huge fear of this: nomophobia.
As many clubs consider a ban on cell phones either totally or in certain locations, I’m convinced that young people like myself and those people who understand us need to work together to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone, including those who don’t want cell phones in nudist venues. (It should also be noted that all electronic devices are being considered in most of the bans, including the Kindle/Nook, iPad, and everything else that could have a camera.)
My idea of having a pouch for cellphones that they must stay in while in public areas (pool, hot tub, etc.) may or may not make sense. It seemed like a good idea to me, as I envisioned it to be like the old thick-plastic pencil cases from my childhood so that it couldn’t take pictures through the pouch but it would be open-able so that we can use the phone to check a text, caller id, or change the song on our MP3 player. So now we turn to you: what solutions can you all come up with for this issue? It would be great to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone and we need your input to develop a list of ideas to propose to clubs for our sake and for the sake of the future of nudism. Now I’ll be quiet… it’s your turn to speak.