The Internet is all agog about airline companies putting Wi-Fi on planes. But I rather feel a bit of sadness for that enforced downtime you have to take now, once the doors are locked and you’re up in the air. There’s something to be said about being alone with your thoughts without that much distraction, beyond the movie made optional by the headphones and the fact that it’s usually a crappy movie you have already seen.
Is there a business case? No doubt. But I doubt that the use of Wi-Fi on planes will be limited to business. Videos, blogging, surfing from site to site, it’s too much of a tempatation. I am sure that there is a argument that surfing is also contemplative, but that sounds a little like the argument that car makers make that watching DVDs in your car brings the family together. And yes, then you could say that surfing keeps you informed, but it’s also a way to slack boredom.
But boredom is a pretty good thing to drop into, as much as we try to avoid it. It’s surprising what thoughts may come as you slip into it. It’s surprising how much it makes you think.