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Do We Really Need to Be "Always On?" What About Living Life?

Ken Chen

Ken Chen

November 5, 2013

4 thoughts on “Do We Really Need to Be "Always On?" What About Living Life?”

  1. Nice read, Ken. On the whole I agree with you — I find myself frustrated by the incessant attachment we as a society seem to have for our mobile devices. If I’m out with friends at a meal, enjoying a live sporting event, spending time at the park, etc., then those are the real life things I want to be focusing on. Too much connection with my device makes me feel like I’m missing what’s right in front of me. However, I have to say that the time just before takeoff and landing is not time when I find myself aching to be more in the moment. Usually I just want to be reading (which is becoming more and more convenient thanks to mobile devices) or listening to podcasts, both of which feel worthwhile to me. Really anything to avoid listening to the safety instructions for the millionth time. 🙂 I spend a lot of time actively thinking about this issue and try to live as much in the “real world” as possible, but those few minutes on the plane are about as mundane as life gets, even if the fact of air travel is a marvel. Almost makes it the perfect time to check-out, especially if you’re trying to avoid the awkward person sitting next to you!

    1. Justin – that’s very fair. I’m trying to teach my kids not to be so reliant on electronics to fill in the open time spaces of life, but hard to do these days. Reading seems like a really good use of the pre- and post- flight time, but I would bet most people use the pre-flight time to squeeze in some “urgent” email and texts to people before they go silent for a little time.

  2. Ken, I agree that kids are losing the ability to fill the open spaces, and with it the ability to be creative. I remember lots of boredom as a kid and those were the times when we invented new games, made things ourselves or rode our bikes around the neighborhood. These are some of my best childhood memories. It seems that kids now want to be entertained all the time. They don’t know how to work their way out of boredom. I’m upset with the FAA ruling for a different reason though. I am dreading the thought of being trapped in my seat next to someone yapping away on their cell phone.

    1. Lynn – great points. I think we would have been fast friends as kids. I used to make up games all the time with rocks, sticks, anything I could get my hands on.

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