Why You Should Put Down Your Phone and Head Outside – But Read This First

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With each step, a thousand years fall behind me, and I plunge deeper into the past. The ground beneath my feet exhales with every heavy footfall, swirling red dust engulfs my boots and stains them orange. My feet move on their own down the narrow switchbacks, rhythmic in the way they hit the ground, eyes glued to the laces making sure they wouldn’t wander. After hours of descent, the steps level and the cliff to my left fades away.

 

Out of the corner of my eye, I notice the familiar pink of a prickly pear. My gaze slowly lifts from my boots to the path ahead of me, either side overflowing with cacti and shrubbery, a natural garden in the middle of a canyon. Up to the sky, the canyon walls reach thousands of feet. Layers upon layers of multicolor strata from the eras stacked like pages of history tell the tales of the last 1.8 billion years.

 

In the distance a condor — Did I have you there? That scene was from four miles deep within the Grand Canyon, just one of the many natural wonders on our beautiful planet. Many of today’s youth are experiencing the world through their phone screens rather than setting it aside and taking in scenes like this for themselves. Here at Into the Outdoors, we’ve decided that the most efficient way to switch up the narrative is to take the problem and turn it into the solution.

 

Into the Outdoors is a youth environmental education television series that strives to inspire kids to put down their electronics and find adventure in the great outdoors. Our brand is built upon the very foundation that we have been competing against: digital media. Ironic, we know, but with good reason. Today’s youth have grown up with their hands wrapped around electronics rather than around tree limbs. By utilizing platforms like television, streaming and social media, we hope to get in front of the younger generations that are heavily ladened by the digital world and engage them in the science and excitement of the natural world.

 

Here at Into the Outdoors, we produce episodes that cover themes spanning a wide range of environmental topics such as wildlife, outdoor recreation, aquatic science, conservation, sustainable energy, ecosystem science, agriculture and more. We have grown to live on broadcast and PBS as well as on a variety of other streaming platforms such as Hulu, Roku, Vizio, Apple TV, Sling, Chromecast and FireTV, just to name a few. Our Facebook and Instagram followings are growing every day, and we’re looking to branch into more platforms as they inevitably arise. As the youth migrate to new platforms, we plan to meet them where they are, and even if just one life is changed thanks to our efforts, it’ll have been worth it.

 

While we do our best to hit the hard questions during our episodes, there is a lot of information to cover in a short period of time. This blog gives us the opportunity to dive deeper into specific questions and topics that have sparked interest in our viewers.

 

For example, after watching our episode on Into National Marine Sanctuaries, you may find yourself interested in learning more about how plastic in the ocean impacts marine life, or maybe how invasive species can affect an ecosystem. Your first stop on your search for answers should be right here to see what
resources we have for you in addition to our episodes. We will occasionally share project and activity ideas that can be done at home or in the classroom, so that this blog may serve as a resource for parents and educators looking to keep the lesson going! Our goal is to foster and nurture this curiosity and help it grow into a passion for the outdoors.

Now that I’ve introduced Into the Outdoors and our new blog, let me pull away the curtain and introduce myself. My name is Kylie Compe, and I am a Digital Content Specialist on the Into the Outdoors team, meaning I specialize in the creative ideation and logistical marketing implementation of our social campaigns. I have enjoyed co-founding projects like our Into the Outdoors Mini series on IGTV as well as creating fun, educational posts on topics that I am passionate about.

 

As a child, I spent most of my waking hours outside swimming in rivers and climbing trees. Not much has changed since then, whether it’s canoeing the Kickapoo, hiking the Grand Canyon or camping in the Black Hills, I still spend most of my free time in nature. My love for the outdoors has grown from a pastime into a passion for helping the environment. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Environmental Studies, so educating others on how our world works and our role in that process has become a goal very near to my heart.

 

It is a pleasure to be a part of a brand that is helping educate our youth on how to be the environmental stewards the world needs. That being said, the first step to environmental stewardship is getting kids excited about the
outdoors! We know it’s not always easy to get kids off their electronics, and sometimes that decision to unplug needs to be made themselves. If you’re looking for a way to coax your young learner in the right direction, slip some engaging educational content into your child’s social scrolling by having them follow Into the Outdoors on Instagram at @intotheoutdoorstv or download our app to stream all of our episodes in one easy place!

 

We’re always posting age-appropriate educational content to our social platforms to ensure a fun, kid-friendly experience that’s meant to inspire them to put down their phones and head Into the Outdoors. Join us on our adventures with our upcoming episodes, and keep an eye out for the next blog! See you out there!