“Can I have an iPad?” my five-year-old son asked, spotting a member of the cabin crew coming down the aisle. “Me too?” said my eight-year-old daughter. We were on a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, which, according to the pilot’s announcement, would only take one hour and thirty-seven minutes due to a favourable tail wind. Hardly a long journey. “Why don’t you just look out the window?” I suggested. “We’re above the clouds! You’ve never seen the tops of the clouds before!”
It was the first aeroplane the kids had ever been on. Leading up to the departure they had been so excited and also very nervous, and they couldn’t wait to be on a real jet. But here they were, half an hour into the flight, asking for iPads. Had the novelty really worn off that quickly? Was the prospect of having a screen truly more exciting than being 11km off the ground?