Get Outdoors

A+beautiful%2C+calm+day+in+a+kayak+on+the+Grand+River.+Kayaking+the+Grand+River+is+a+very+popular+recreation+to+many+in+the+GL+area.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Get Outdoors

A beautiful, calm day in a kayak on the Grand River. Kayaking the Grand River is a very popular recreation to many in the GL area.

A beautiful, calm day in a kayak on the Grand River. Kayaking the Grand River is a very popular recreation to many in the GL area.

Photo By Jonathan Callison

A beautiful, calm day in a kayak on the Grand River. Kayaking the Grand River is a very popular recreation to many in the GL area.

Photo By Jonathan Callison

Photo By Jonathan Callison

A beautiful, calm day in a kayak on the Grand River. Kayaking the Grand River is a very popular recreation to many in the GL area.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






   Since 1983, people have been able to use cell phones. From then to now, companies have invented more and more electronic devices to make our lives easier. With the invention of mobile devices, social media, and video games, fewer and fewer people are interested in the great outdoors.

   The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that out of an average of five hours a day of leisure time, American adults watch TV for 2.7 hours, play on their computer for 25 minutes, and exercise or recreate for a mere 19 minutes. As reported by the Children & Nature Network, kids spend an estimated time with media ranging from 30 hours to 53 hours a week. This is worrisome because the future generations and my generation do not want to be outdoors. Instead they want to be glued to social media like Snapchat and video games like “Fortnite.”

   “I think that part of the drop in hunters, especially young hunters, is due to a busy schedule,” Michigan Out-of-Doors TV Co-Host, Jordan Browne said. “Sports are now much more demanding and often involve travel leagues/longer seasons. Even kids who do not participate in sports have more demands on their free time from an academic standpoint than in the past.”

   Browne brings up a good point about people having busier schedules, however, lots of people have freetime that they spend doing nothing.

   According to Pure Michigan’s website, Michigan boasts four Great Lakes, 11,000 inland lakes, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, 20.3 million acres of forests, four national parks, 103 state parks and recreation areas, one of the world’s top freshwater fisheries, 1,300 miles of designated mountain bike and bicycle trails, 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails, the second highest number of ski areas in the nation, and more than 600 campgrounds and an international dark sky park. How can Michiganders stay inside with a state that offers this vast amount of opportunities outside? Simple: people choose “virtual” reality over actual reality, the “virtual” reality being video games and social media.

Photo by Jonathan Callison
A Grand River smallmouth caught while fishing on the Grand River. Fishing is also another great recreation to do outside. The state of Michigan offers a ton of freshwater fisheries to catch anything from Bass to Walleye to Steelhead.

    Pew Research Center published a study that reported 92 percent of teens go online daily (using mobile devices), including 24 percent who say they go online “almost constantly.” I believe half of this is true. I do believe teens go online daily, but I disagree with only 24 percent going online constantly. Teens go on social media all the time, they cannot put the phone down. Making this the main problem. Social media is pulling kids from the real world and putting them into the fake world. This is not just the problem for teens. Younger generations of adults are becoming imprisoned by the phone, meaning they cannot put the phone down either. This is why people enjoying outdoor recreational activities is on the decline. However, some in the outdoor industry disagree.

   “I don’t think technology plays a major role in the decline of youth hunters,” Browne said. “That being said, I’m sure the evolution of video games has a role in overall decreased time outdoors.”

   As for stopping the decline, there is hope. Foundations, initiatives, and companies are all working to increase the interest in outdoor activities, foundations such as the Outdoor Foundation. Their mission, according to the Outdoor Industry Association, is to connect not only individuals, but also entire  communities  to the outdoors and inspire a nationwide outdoor habit. Initiatives like R3 are also helping to get people outdoors. R3 stands for Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation, as reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The idea of R3 is to use outdoor activities to introduce new people and reintroduce people who stopped engaging in outdoor recreation. As for companies, Cabela’s Outdoor Fund gave money to help out foundations such as Pheasants Forever and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Bass Pro Shops also is in the effort to get people outdoors. According to Bass Pro Shops, they donated over 32,000 rods and reels to help get kids to go fishing. With the help from these movements and organizations, more and more people will participate in outdoor activities. However, they cannot do it all on their own. People must be willing to go outside and take part in outdoor recreation on their own.

   This summer, when the choice between going outside or staying in on the phone arises, choose to go outside and leave the phone inside. Give social media and video games a break and experience the real world of the great outdoors and take advantage of what the great state of Michigan has to offer.