Honesty time: We all panic a little when our phones drop reception. Whether you’re enjoying a road trip, grabbing coffee or stuck in a waiting room, we depend on our devices for instant entertainment. However, if you drive into the little town of Green Bank, West Virginia, you might not be able to hide behind your screens to avoid human interaction. In “The Quietest Town in America,” cell phones and wireless devices are completely banned, and using them is a punishable offense. This isn’t just about cracking down on texting and driving, and it’s not because the townspeople are afraid of technology.
The little town of Green Bank is home to the world’s largest radio telescope, which can actually hear sounds from millions of miles away. Researchers need to listen to exploding galaxies, and cellphone signals can drown out the sounds of the universe — literally. As a courtesy to the researchers, all cell phone use is limited in the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that stretches from the eastern half of West Virginia to the Maryland border.
So how are people coping in this “quiet” town?? They aren’t completely cut off from the world, since they are allowed landlines and Internet via Ethernet cable, though there are a few that still sneak in WiFi. But for the most part, the residents have come to love their technology-free zone. When they leave Green Bank, they find it annoying to see people constantly on their phones and not paying attention to the real world around them. Not being attached to gadgets gives them the chance to enjoy a distraction-free date, more time to connect with the kids and a whole new perspective on how we interact with technology.
Would you be able to live in a tech-free town? Tell us what you think in the comments below!