Air Waves

Karen and I typically find ourselves travelling by air about once every year, on average. That has gotten quite interesting since our daughter joined us, but it is still my preferred way to travel. Even though our travelling is not for business, I’ve still found myself, especially during the rush of holiday travelling, trying to get out a last-minute communication or squeezing in one last phone call just as we take our seats and have to turn everything off. I’ve been quite annoyed on several flights when I have to stop the movie I’m watching 20 minutes before seemingly necessary because the flight has technically began its final descent. I don’t get the whole “no electronic devices” rule during that time period.

Apparently, there’s discrepancy about the entire concept of not using mobile communication devices on flights altogether, and, if we’re to believe this article, it’s gaining traction as officials call into question the fact that our “increasingly mobile society” can’t use our phones and tablets while in the air for data transmissions.

I’m going to be honest, though…I sort of enjoy the fact that I can’t take calls and swap emails while in the air. I like the opportunity to let calls go to voicemail and my inbox fill up a bit. While I don’t see the validity of not being able to keep reading an ebook or watching a movie just because we’re taking off or landing, I really don’t want everyone on their phones in that confined space. I’m not even thrilled about the idea of in-flight wi-fi. There are few places in which our bodies get a break from those flying radio signals, in any case.

In short, there’s something nice about quiet.

In a perfect world (well, a perfect world for me), I hope that some flexibility comes from these studies without full permissiveness of mobile phone use being adopted during flights. Having some peace and quiet is nice, and, while I may feel differently about some loss of productivity were I to travel more for business, I understand that a lot of business travelers enjoy the chance to disconnect for a change, as well.

I haven’t really had the opportunity over the past couple of years, but I used to carve out time to unplug every summer. The best times were at the beach with Karen. Even a couple of days disconnected from the Internet is quite refreshing. I’m looking forward to my next chance to do that.

Connectedness is amazing, but there can be too much of a good thing. I hope that we can keep what peace and quiet we have during air travel, because we honestly need whatever peace and quiet we can find.

You’re now free to move about the cabin.

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