I was on a flight recently from Atlanta to San Diego. Long before we took off the runway, there came a deep rumbling snore from across the aisle and one row back from me. I turned and discovered that the noise was coming from a woman who was oblivious to the people around her. She was OUT. She had some BIG sunglasses on, she had her neck pillow on, and she had ear buds in. The poor women on either side of her looked like they were begging to be saved. They obviously were already seeing this as torture for the next 4 hours. Sure enough, she did not disappoint. While she did momentarily wake up as we took off, she was back in deep REM within minutes.
I of course do what I do on all flights, I put my ear buds in and lost myself in a couple podcasts and the work that I needed to get done. Later though, 1 topic started pinging my subconsciousness.
When did I get to the point of being so Anti-Social on Airplanes?
I mean I may as well be snoring. As soon as we’re above 10,ooo feet and the pilot has decreed it safe for electronic devices, my Macbook is out and I am back at work. Time that people used to use to read books, check out the sky mall magazine… or SLEEP like this lady, has been replaced by more and more work. I can hop onto gogoinflight without skipping a beat. I can VPN into work networks, and be editing web content, creating microsites, creating wireframes, architectures, keyword research, web analytics… Anything that I could be doing from my desk in Norcross.
But what I don’t do is connect with those around me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I TOTALLY understand how awkward it can be when someone in the seat next to you wants to have a conversation and all you want to do is get the guy to shut up, but I don’t even take the time to introduce myself anymore. Typically, I am zone 1 and in the row first as my seat neighbors come in. I usually give the obligatory nod and “hey” but nothing more.
That’s just wrong in my opinion.
What do you think? Do you go out of the way to say hello to those around you? Or… do you just filter out the world and start snoring?