Recently I flew to New York for the first time. Boy o boy did we have a good time. There is also the slight wonder that I love about a flight... "airplane mode". It's a beauty. The one time I know I can switch off and be out of touch with the world. Silencing technology.
Well dear reader, I'm sorry but that silence is over. My fashionista friend M, whom I holidayed with in NYC, flew over from New Zealand which involved a flight from LA to NYC on Virgin. During her flight she was on Facebook and Twitter, keeping up her social media presence and that just threw me!
Wifi on airlines! This is going to totally throw that self imposed digital detox out of window. For me the digital detox usually starts at the car park as soon as I'm at the airport. When I arrived at the London Heathrow car park bus stop I resisted the urge to get out my phone, like the other two ladies who stood next to me. After all what was going on with social media at 5:05am? Certainly none of my friends would have been awake at that time to chat to!
I'd like to think the one time I can guarantee switching off from the digital evolution is at 40,000 feet. I have to admit that usually I have a little cry on a long distance flight. I think that it's all down to the fact that this is the only time I am detached from my day to day life. You're above the world where your life is occurring and it's the one time you can review where you are when you're not really "anywhere" specific.
Ultimately this is probably moments of pre-grieving for the years my father battled cancer and now is the actual grief following his death, as well as stress from work. The aeroplane is my sanctuary, my few hours escape from reality and being accountable for anything. Those precious few hours is my time to reflect and reboot. This is probably why I love flying and travelling so much. Yes I know flying can be noisy, stressful and not relaxing for all, admittedly I wrote this in draft whilst in my upgraded business class seat ( that was my first experience of it, promise!). But it does give us time away from our digital life. Of course, you can still use your kindle, iPad or phone whilst up in the air but it's the detachment from connectivity that is key. A time to break away from that need to know what is happening everywhere at once, to slow down the pace of your mind and to extract yourself from the digital mayhem.
It will still be there when you land, enjoy it whilst it lasts before all airlines have wifi available on them. Long live the imposed digital detox. You know you'll feel better for it.