A woman crashed into me at the airport the other day. I was walking and hustling to my departure gate. She too was hustling but staring down at her phone. Because I am a jerk I decided to keep walking at my pace and startle her as she nearly ran into me.
There was an irony about that moment because once I safely got to my seat in the boarding lounge I pulled out my phone to see a tweet from someone applauding me for writing the book Put Down Your Damn Phone Already. She said, “It’s about time someone wrote this.” I thanked her and noted the book could also be downloaded on iTunes to her phone. That’s a little more irony for you.
An airport is an interesting place nowadays. Despite many planes having Wi-Fi capabilities for passengers, many people still cram as much phone time in as possible as if the couple of hours they will be out of touch is the end of the world.
There are charging stations everywhere that are usually packed with power adaptors and sometimes a waiting line for people to juice up their device for a few minutes. There are people sitting on the floor a few feet from a comfortable couch because they need to have their phone plugged in and use it at the same time.
Once on a plane, I can’t tell you how many times a flight attendant has had to tell someone multiple times to put away their phone. It’s like those people who smoke and take those last critical puffs before tossing the cigarette and going into a building. Just. Need. This. One. Last. Puff. Or in the case of a traveller, one last text.
On the flip side, I am constantly seated beside someone who pulls out their phone on the final descent and powers it up to grab the first available signal to once again reconnect with the world on the ground. As if that few minutes is so critical that they can’t wait until the flight attendant announces that it is OK to use wireless devices again.
Is there a patch? Maybe there should be an app that shocks your fingers if you go over a set time limit or character count when typing. Hmm, that might be a good business idea.
I’ve said it before – and even titled the book with the sentiment: Put down your damn phone already.
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