As I’m sitting here on an airplane typing a blog entry into my cell phone, I am reminded of various things I’ve heard about cell phones being used on airplanes, or at least the potential for it. I am also thinking about what’s already happening now with Internet connectivity on some long-haul flights.
For me and I know many others, being forced into a situation without Internet or phone contact is a fabulous thing. It seems that I am always dealing with something, whether it be family or work related. On a plane with a bunch of strangers relegated to slience, I can slip into the cocoon of my own private thoughts. With my Nokia 9500, it even has a soundtrack.
Now most of the flights I take are on the order of two hours, which is not too long and quite survivable with “other” forms of entertainment not tied to a network connection. But on an eight or nine hour flight, I might run out of things to read, watch, listen to, or just get plain bored with it all.
I realize just how much of my life, or at least much of my perosnal amusement is tied up in being “connected to the Internet.” I’ll surf the net because I’m bored or want to learn more about some random thing that popped in my head. Being in a situation where I can’t use the Internet for an extended period of time seems, well, weird.
Of course, the Internet only came into common use within the past 10 years or so. It seems inconceivable that there was a word without the Internet, but that was the world I knew until I was in high school. I experimented with BBSes in junior high and even had an account on GEnie in high school. I knew the online world, but it was expensive, slow, and nowhere near the instant gratification of today’s Internet.
I think about my son, who will turn five at the end of June. He already plays lots of computer games on the Internet. He is growing up in an “always on” world. One morning when the DSL connection was down, Jaden wanted to play something on the computer. Since most of the games he plays are on the Internet, he couldn’t play anything and was frustrated. He wanted me to fix it. “Sorry, son, the Internet is down.” “Fix it, Daddy” he said to me. Or even finding mommy when she’s out: “Call mommy on her cell phone” he’ll say.
A disconnected world is something my son cannot comprehend. Maybe it’s because he’s five, but I believe his mindset will prevail, if not now, very soon. Better enjoy my coccon while I can still escape there.
“I say live it or live with it.”