The Future Is Here
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Opinion: In-Flight Wi-Fi Is a Bad, Bad Thing

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Hey dufus, put your hands down. Why are you celebrating all of this airplane Wi-Fi internet access? Oh, right. Now I remember. You're my boss. And now I must do your bidding from anywhere in the world at any time. Thanks a lot, airlines! I'll never be able to dodge work again.I love the internet as much as the next guy. Be it news, emails, or just videos of some dog lipsyncing to Thriller, I can't get enough. And there's nobody—and I mean nobody—who reaches for his smartphone faster when the plane lands to thwart his cold sweats and shaky hands than me. But while we may have felt oppressed without access to internet from 30,000 feet, we're far worse off with it. I want you to look back for a moment all the way to high school. Remember that one time you left, say, your math book in your locker the night before the test? It was too late to return; the school was locked. So all you could do was sit back that evening, watch some reruns on television and await your inevitable sub par performance without guilt. And isn't that what life is really all about? Without mobile Wi-Fi, flights are one of the few socially acceptable circumstances of procrastination. It's not your fault that the spreadsheet isn't done or that you didn't get back to that client, friend or family member. You were in the air! You were helpless! All you could do was...hang out...and maybe read some sort of Oprah-approved, paper-bound manuscript. And in case anyone here forgot, we can still get work done without the internet. There is, after all, a use for laptops that aren't connected to the world's information. But the beauty of this work is two-fold: One, without access to extended materials, most of what can be accomplished is limited to, dare I say, reasonable levels. Two, without access to communications like email impeding actual work, most of what can be accomplished will be far more productive. So sure, with internet access coming to planes, the business world may benefit from an extended level of communication. Some merger may go through, or it may not. Some presentation may have more polish, or the presenter might just be more tired because of it. But since when did I sign up to fly in a cramped office with a bunch of people taking life too seriously? It may be called "business class," but we all know what it's really meant for: Drinking. Besides, I'm more than happy to give up the prospect of in-flight porn if it means you do too. P.S. Brian, I'm not sorry for calling you a dufus. But I am sorry that those devil horns look more like cat ears—not that it's necessarily a bad look for you.