Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Thanks to Wi-Fi There's No Getting Away from It All, Even in the Desert

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Thanks to Wi-Fi There's No Getting Away from It All, Even in the Desert

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter Notebook

THE puritan in me had been looking forward to going off grid on holiday in Jordan last week. But it turns out the Bedouin tribe is even more addicted to Instagram than millennial Londoners. Water may be scarce in the Wadi Rum desert but you're never more than a five-minute camel ride from a wi-fi hotspot.

In a basic camp among the Marslike rock formations where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed, a Bedouin man offered to take me to see a baby camel. As he made his pitch, he delivered his killer selling point: "I can send you a picture on Whatsapp for your Instagram." I was sold. Sweet animal photos are catnip to anyone with an Instagram account. The fluffy creature with his precariously skinny legs and cartoonishly huge eyes is the star of my feed, amassing 60 likes.

Later that night, we lay marvelling at the canopy of stars overhead. But there was no room for imaginative theorising about the constellations our Bedouin guide whipped out his smartphone so that he could tell us about them confidently, backed up by his star app. …

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