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aug 31

Good or Bad Idea: Wiring Donkeys for WiFi?

An historic biblical park in Israel is trying to make it easier for guests to share their experience via social media—by wiring the donkeys that they ride through the exhibit with WiFi.

The park, called Kfar kedem (the name means "The Ancient Village" in Hebrew) is designed to show folks what it was like to live in the town of Galilee during biblical times.

I find it ironic that a park that takes re-creation so seriously (guests dress in period costumes and participate in 3,000-year-old activities such as thrushing grain and pressing olives) is so connected to 21st century technology. I'm not the only one either—the novelty of the experience has caught the attention of media outlets across the U.S., from the New York Daily News to the Seattle Times.

As a marketing ploy, the park has been successful—would I be writing about Kfar kedem if they hadn't outfitted their donkeys for WiFi? Probably not.

The question, of course, is whether this adds to the experience or detracts from it. There's something incredibly convenient about being able to look up historical facts and share your experience on the fly. But if you're so focused on the Internet, does that mean that you're too distracted to appreciate the park fully? And, more importantly, doesn't WiFi seem counter-intuitive in a place that's trying to immerse you in an ancient world?

What do you think?

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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