Writing more on flights with no internet.

As an avid JetBlue fan, I was thrilled when they began offering free WiFi for all their flights. However, growing up flying without the internet, I’ve begun to appreciate the brief disconnection I get from flying in the open skies.

Ever since I started college, I constantly check Facebook messenger throughout the day. I’m not in the mood to respond to anyone most of the time, but notifications still distract me. Especially when I’m writing, everything is a distraction. Any notification that pops on my screen (email or text!) will immediately prompt my eyes to shift toward the top right corner of the screen. Secretly, I hope for an urgent message that would make me stop writing and respond immediately. However, on the plane, no pings ever bother me, although I still occasionally open those apps from time to time. On the plane, I can write in peace. 

Every time I’d fly throughout college, I’d take the opportunity to write a diary about what I did in college/vacations. I’m always appreciative afterward when I can read the rambling musings of a young teenager. Reading those pieces made me remember all the small activities that one wouldn’t immediately recall from the adventure. 

It’s not that I hate writing; in fact, it has consistently been my new year’s resolution to write more. And I’ve thought a lot about why I can’t get myself to write without a solid mental will. Writing feels less rewarding and challenging during the activity than the other things I do in my life. It’s funny that I think writing is less challenging than other activities and then spend hours editing an essay riddled with incoherent sentences. Maybe it’s frustrating not to see improvement after years of typing. Maybe I’m impatient and can’t stand waiting for my fingers to imprint my ever-changing thoughts into written characters.

Movies and other entertainment and the occasional distraction

Of course, the other fantastic benefit of flying is catching up on recent movies. While I enjoy watching blockbuster movies with other people, I’m usually not excited enough to find people to watch it with me. Because of that, I find myself being the last one to watch many movies. It’s a nice break from writing. Also, anytime I feel too self-conscious to write down my thoughts on my laptop, I yield my time to the screen.

In the future, I plan to keep my phone with WiFi off to appreciate the time disconnected from the world. Hopefully, it’ll inspire me to write a little bit more of what has already happened in my life :).

One thought on “Writing more on flights with no internet.

  1. I find this phenomenon of limited choices so interesting.

    This reminds me of a tweet I saw (that I can’t dig up now) that basically said “The fact that so many people take advantage of time on airplanes to read books shows that having more choices [to do other things when you’re not on an airplane] does not always lead to better outcomes”

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