Sophomore Manson Tung is currently in Switzerland and Germany on the school’s trip and will be writing periodic travel blogs from Europe.
I never realized how incredibly dependent on technology we were until today’s marathon travel route to Germany. Recent TSA laws meant that I didn’t have to turn off my cell phone or laptop during takeoff and landing. While I had read about this change, I hadn’t experienced it until today.
And, boy, did it improve my flying experience. I went gate to gate without turning off my dubstep-electro trance music and arrived in Salt Lake City humming the beats of Skrillex and Big Chocolate.
But it also took the personal touch straight out of flying. Not once during the first two-hour leg of my journey did I interact with either of my two neighbors. The surprised me because as a self-proclaimed social person, I almost always learn the name of my neighbors and the flight crew during the journey.
But not this time. Instead, I was in my own world, tuned out of everything happpening around me. Technology has taken the human right out of human aviation.
However, the effect of technology on flying hasn’t been all bad. Yesterday when I checked in online I opted to have a copy of my boarding passes sent to my phone. I thought I would have them just in case I needed them. In fact, I was so sure I wouldn’t need them that I didn’t even bother to download them off the text message they came from.
But the check-in counter attendant gave me the wrong boarding pass, so instead of holding my own, I was holding sophomore Brad Petchauer’s.
Mid TSA-security line I realized the mistake, and in a panic I bobbed and weaved backwards through the line. As I was sprinting down the staircase, I happened to glance at an incoming text message. It was just the reminder I needed, and I downloaded the boarding passes faster than the time I needed to get back into the security line.
Technology has had mixed impacts on our lives, but one thing for certain is that it’s getting more pervasive. I just didn’t know how necessary it was, and how much better I feel connected, until today.