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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.kymberlieingalls.com/p/editing-services.html

Monday, March 19, 2012

Time Keeps On Slipping...

"On Monday morning I’m going to drive to the airport, check in for my flight to New York, then head to the airport bookstore for a stack of magazines to read on the plane. I’ll do this reluctantly because I will carry both an Amazon Kindle and an Apple iPad packed full of reading material in my bag.  I need the paper products because Federal Aviation Administration rules state that I cannot use these digital reading devices on an airplane during taxi, take-off or landing." - Nick Bilton

I don't like to fly, for a number of reasons.  First, there's that whole "crash and burn" thing.  "But it hardly ever happens, realistically!" Realistically, it only takes once.  I don't like to test the odds. 

But also because of the having to arrive at the airport early, wade through security like bovine through a mousehole, only to be subjected to the real mile-high club - the prices designed to take slutty advantage of our boredom - while we sit and wait.. and wait... the entire process to me is something I find hard to label 'convenient.'  Give me a good old fashioned road trip any day. 

There is all sorts of talk about the degradation of society today and how our attention span has gone the way of the dinosaur.  It makes great fodder for a comedic look at ourselves, but as with anything funny there is a kernel of truth at the base of the joke.  We are like overgrown teenagers who must have the latest gadget, the latest service or convenience, and we must have it now.  It's bad enough to subject us to waiting, and airplane-cabin fever, but take away our cell phones and the Angry Birds and suddenly our civil rights have been violated in a very big way.


True, the FAA and airline regulations may be outdated, as is discussed in Bilton's article, but really what is the big loss that we can't use our electronics for a half hour at take off and another half hour at landing?  For centuries now, we've managed to function without texting or calling while driving, with reading an old-fashioned book versus a digital screen, we survived relying on basic instincts.  Let's face it, we can't even leave the world behind for five minutes of quality toilet-time. 
Three-fourths of Americans with mobile phones report they use their phones in the bathroom.  Americans are texting, emailing, and yes – as you may have heard – talking on the phone in the bathroom.  Approximately one quarter of Americans report they don’t go into the bathroom without their phone. The new report, “IT in the Toilet,” uses the “bathroom benchmark” to examine just how connected we have become.
We claim to be always thinking, always forging ahead in these modern times, but if you ask me, I think we're more afraid to be alone with our thoughts than we want to admit.  Looking to the past, the graveyards are chock full of great thinkers; that number has declined rapidly with the mainstreaming of the computer.  I dare say that information overload has in fact had the opposite effect and is the biggest contributor to our dumbing down. 

And frankly, if there is even one smidgen of truth to the idea that a cell phone could take down a plane full of people, that's not a chance I'm super comfortable with.  See above - it only takes once, folks.

It's almost conceivable to keep hope alive that some rules stay in place.  At least this one makes sense, as opposed to taking away our rights to be fat and happy.  Is it really a bad thing to have to sever our Blackberrys and iPads from our fingertips for mere minutes? 

The apocalypse is coming, fellow citizens .. and it ain't gonna be pretty - the Oompa Loompas will be laughing a great deal, I suspect, as we fall down the hatch.

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