Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Travel, unplugged

A few weeks ago, I read a New York Times story about the pros and cons of airlines beginning to offer in-flight Internet access. One of the downsides, the reporter pointed out, is that business travelers will soon lose one of their favorite excuses for not reading e-mail: “Sorry, I was on a plane” will no longer satisfy someone who wants to know why you didn’t reply to a message before the end of the work day.

That all made sense, but what troubled me was that the article said commercial flights have been one of the last places on Earth where a person could escape cell phone calls and e-mail messages.

Really? A pressurized aluminum tube that hurtles through the air at 500 mph is one of the last places on Earth to avoid electronic communication? It’s a pretty sad statement if people believe that. Sure, maybe it’s the best you can do on a weekday while wearing a tie around your neck, but there are plenty of better places to enjoy some peace and quiet. Mountain bikers are luckier than New York Times reporters, because we already know that.

I hope no one ever figures out how equip a bike with some doodad that provides global Internet access.


WheelDancer said...

I agree that being out in the woods without an internet connection is just dandy but we are pretty close to having it. I have an iPhone and as long as there's a cell connection, the internets sit right there in my hand.

It is, however, possible to turn the device off and if there's one thing I think we need it's people doing the right thing rather than the right now thing.

Dano said...

After work and weekend rides for sure.
But am one of the lucky ones with a work sched. that lets me ride during the day sometimes.
But I need to bring the Blackberry with me. At times, it really sucks but I must remember that when I need to stop and return a text that I could be doing it from the office and not in the woods.
Its a no brainer.......

Anonymous said...

When I go on overnight trips to the woods I don't even wear a watch. When I do this time seems to slow down and I enjoy myself even more.

My spouse knows that I will be home when I walk through the door. This is an understanding we have had since before we got married.

Jeff,aka Slowpoke

lemmiwinks said...

WheelDancer hit the nail on the head - turn that sucker off.

Groover said...

Just a journalist trying to be dramatic. I'm with WheelDancer, too. It's everybodies' choice to switch off. Great post!

Banger said...

I like the best of both worlds. I keep my phone on vibrate in my bag so I can hear people trying to get in touch with me and be reminded that I am escaping them. Then I use the excuse "Oh sorry I missed your call! I was out for a ride!"