Soon enough the good old days of shoddy airplane wifi will be behind us.
The airplane seems to be the only place — the antithesis of the coffee shop — where we have no choice but to disconnect. The internet is either too expensive or too slow to bother using.
And it’s within this big flying capsule that we have no choice but to do other stuff: read, draw, play games, or talk to a seatmate. Riding a plane is a blessing in disguise, showing flashes of the old world of slow media.
In the air, we can’t edit our best selves, nor carve our futures. We are stuck in parallel time, squeezed into intertia by wind and fuel. Unlike the smartphone, airplanes are still stuck in the past.
The devices we use daily today are a million times more powerful than any machine from the 1970s. If air travel had improved at the same rate, then you could have left London and arrived in Sydney in less time than it took to read this sentence.
The second we land and grab on to devices, the rectangular glow erases all traces of the conscious tortoise. We are driven back into distraction by candy-colored apps.