Monday, October 03, 2005

Murder at 30,000 feet?

Have you seen the news that using cell phones on airplanes will soon be possible. Isn't that great?

I love what Thomas Friedman (NY Times columnist and author) wrote in several of his books and said in this speech about overconnectedness:

"If I'm being bombarded constantly by people wanting to get in touch with me, I, frankly, can't think.

Now, I don't know about all you, but people call my office and they say, "Is Tom Friedman there?" My secretary says, "He's not in." They say, "Well, connect me to his cell phone or his pager." The assumption now is that you are always in. You are never out anymore. Out is over. Forget about out. You are always in now. Of course, if you're always in, it means you're always on, and if you're always on, what are you like?

What else is always on 24/7, 365? Well, of course, a computer server. I, frankly, don't want to live my life like a computer server."

Friedman then goes on to discuss continuous partial attention, a term coined by Microsoft's Linda Stone. See

As a former instructor I know that being on all the time is stressful. And being constantly bombarded with external stimuli like e-mail, television, and loud music is stressful. How much stress can we take?

Which leads me back to cell phones on planes: Just think of it. Passengers all over the plane loudly letting us know how important they are by calling whomever about whatever throughout the flight. Scrap road rage. How about flight fury?

Murder at 30,000 feet may become commonplace (at least in our minds)! <8-)

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