In-flight Wi-fi? Nah, no thanks

In-flight Wi-fi? Nah, no thanksI apologise in advance for what will inevitably turn out to be a massively incoherent rant. Y’see, I’m currently in Melbourne, having spent something ridiculous like 24 hours in the air over the weekend. It might be 1pm here, but my brain knows it’s really 4am and demands sleep. Too bad, old fella. You’ll just have to wait.

Anyway, I hate flying. Or, to be more emphatic: I. Hate. Flying. It’s one of the worst things ever, to the point that it’s borderline inhumane. Passengers voluntarily admit themselves to an airborne metal tube of a prison and just… sit.

Three flights in total I had to endure. I kept thinking of that quote from Fight Club: “Every time the plane banked too sharply on take-off or landing, I prayed for a crash, or a mid-air collision - anything.” Ok, maybe that’s a little melodramatic, and possibly slightly disturbing. Let’s move on.

Of course, there’s all manner of stuff to watch on those tiny little screens (incidentally, I highly recommend Catfish, the documentary about the unravelling of an increasingly suspicious Facebook friendship. Great stuff), but other than squinting at films and TV and junk, there’s not a great deal to do.

Sleep was one thing I missed profoundly, especially given the length of time I spent at 35,000 ft. Sure, I dozed off a couple of times, invariably embarrassing myself by waking up with a start and almost elbowing the adjacent passengers, but that barely qualifies as sleep.

Anyway, where am I going with this? Isn’t Mobot a mobile phone website? Well, yes (mostly). That was the other thing I missed loads; my mobile phone. In the absence of in-flight Wi-Fi or a mobile service, I felt completely and utterly isolated.

About 15 minutes into my journey I instinctively wanted to text my mates and bemoan the fact that I was bored, or tell them inane stuff like the fact that the in-flight entertainment system had Ghostbusters and Pearl Jam’s Ten.

Or perhaps I could’ve turned to Facebook and Twitter and caught up with status updates. Not that anyone ever has much of interest to say (sorry everyone). Hell, it’s not like my status updates are any better, though I do tend to avoid tedious posts like: “Lewis… is bored,” or: “Lewis… is at the cinema.”

But there you have it: it’s not like I intended to do anything hugely – or even vaguely – constructive. And it got me thinking how we’re completely spoiled by technology. In the years to come there’ll be Wi-Fi on all trains and planes and buses and, well, anywhere you go. Inevitably the underground will see mobile technology too. And for what?

Is anyone really doing anything that important that it really can’t wait? Other than high-flying business types, of course. But do we really need to see Facebook status updates saying: “Jane is on the flight to New York!”? I reckon: “Jane is at the airport!” and: “Jane is in New York!” are more than enough, thanks.

Nah, contrary to my initial yearning for mobile goodness, I reckon we can do without it on flights. You know what? Read a book instead; talk to someone; daydream. They’re all much more fun.

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2 comments

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 18, 2011 at 14:12

right on!!!

B1ack  Apr. 18, 2011 at 14:24

Long haul flights with no wi-fi. I get the shakes.

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