The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

The Town with No Wi-Fi: Connecting With Others By Leaving Your Phone Behind


You’ve probably thought about taking a break from social media from time to time, but can you imagine living without social media or cell phones entirely? This small town in West Virginia, USA, does just that. And though the reason is out of this world, the result can sometimes connect us deeper to our humanity.

For the 182 residents of Green Bank, West Virginia, modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, cellphones, microwaves, and even digital cameras are a thing of the outside world. You see, this town neighbors the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope—a piece of technology that allows scientists to observe everything from the formation of stars to the remnants of the big bang. And in order for these arrays to listen to the most “remote whispers of the universe” they require no interference from the ground. 1 So, what is life like in a community without cell phones or Wi-Fi? Are there some lessons that we can learn from a community living in an era from not so long ago?

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