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Russia Introduce Wi-Fi Comfort Zones to Cemeteries

I don't know about you but whenever I'm at a graveyard, my first thought is rarely 'I need to check my Instagram'. It's usually something along the lines of 'Not again' or 'How am I going to climb out this time'. Evidently the Russian government seem to think that a lot of people actually do feel the need to check their online accounts while visiting the grave of a loved one, or finding parts to build a monster, because they've pledged install free Wi-Fi in 3 of the nation's largest cemeteries early next year, with the suggestion that there might be more to come.

The access will be available in the 'rest areas' dotted around the sites, and are refereed to as 'zones of psychological comfort'. It's not entirely clear why they're calling them that, but I would hazard a guess that since visiting a loved one's grave can be more than a little distressing, being able to jump on Facebook, message someone or facetime them might provide some level of emotional comfort. Supposedly this move is a response to public demand, but some would likely argue that ease of internet access on consecrated ground is somewhat disrespectful.

That being said, there is an educational bearing to it as well, since many famous people are buried at the graveyards which have been selected for this treatment, including Anton Chekhov and Boris Yeltsin. The presumption is that people want to find out more about some of the more prominent people buried there, and this is a way of providing that. If someone did feel the need to snap a selfie next to Khrushchev's headstone, strange as that might be, they can do that as well.

If it fares well, the service might end up being extended to more sites, hundreds of them, which kind of renders the 'famous grave' argument moot, but it seems as if that was only ever a means of justification rather than a direct motivation. Some might argue that people spend enough time fiddling with their phones without being given the opportunity to do it in the presence of the dead, but once again, having all your friends and family a button push away can be immensely valuable at difficult times such as those. Also, if you do find yourself buried alive, you'll be able to get out of it much faster than Ryan Reynolds did.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Russia Introduce Wi-Fi Comfort Zones to Cemeteries Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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