You know what I look forward to?
Flights. Not because of the weird but strangely satisfying packaged food. Not because of the anticipation of the holiday/home-coming/work trip I’m embarking on.
Because of the peace and damn quiet.
It’s an odd way to describe the sound of massive jet engines propelling a 200-tonne aluminium tube through the sky at 900 kmph. Also because that aluminium tube is usually full of screaming babies wondering what the hell is going on, and flight attendants announcing that the in-flight entertainment will be re-runs of Better Homes and Gardens.
But it is peaceful-ish and quiet-ish. Because for those blissful hours it takes me to get from one destination to another, I HAVE to turn off my phone, and damn well relax.
Qantas has announced they will be introducing high-speed, super-fancy Wi-Fi to their planes next year. Proper Wi-Fi, not the flimsy connections that have started to be introduced on flights already. Proper, ground-speed, Netflix-capable Wi-Fi. (We are yet to know if you can ACTUALLY watch Netflix on the plane Wi-Fi, or if it will be restrictive… We know you were wondering).
— Qantas (@Qantas) February 22, 2016
The thing is, I need an excuse to not use Wi-Fi.
I have the Internet at home. I have the Internet at work. I have the Internet on my phone for those rare times that a cafe does not have Wi-Fi. I have so much Internet, I say “dot com” after every spoken sentence.
Just kidding. I’m not a tech-head who can’t have a five minute conversation without checking my phone. But I do like the freedom enforced on planes.
Turn your phone off, disconnect from your contacts, be unreachable for the next ninety minutes of air time, because you don’t have a choice. You cannot get a stressful email from your angry boss. You cannot browse Facebook for mindless hours, numbing your mind without even realising what you’re doing. You can only sit there, in your tiny economy-class seat, and either sleep, read, or watch re-runs of Better Homes and Gardens.
Bliss. Pure, un-technological bliss.
Flights are high-tech enough. It’s unnatural, flying through the air at breakneck speed, transporting humans from homes to holidays.
But with Wi-Fi up in the sky, the sky won’t be the most interesting thing to look at anymore. I’ll start looking at ‘hashtag cloud’ pictures on Instagram instead. And the guy next to me will start having a loud business meeting on Skype. And the lady behind him will give herself a headache watching too many episodes of Netflix, while the guy down the aisle will be subtly trying to watch porn.
We are powerless to Wi-Fi. You yourself, my fellow passenger, are reading this on the Internet right now, wherever you are. You are the exact kind of person who will be sucked into fancy plane Wi-Fi, and forget that you are a human hurtling through the air with magnificent feats of science.
Please, Qantas. Make us relax. Make us disconnect.
Make us just sit there, shut up, and look out the window.