The Miracle of Technology

26 Mar, 2015

My grandmother was born in 1895. She grew up in an era where radios were a part of the living room furniture – as big as a cabinet or a recliner. When small, handheld transistor radios came out, she thought it was a marvel of invention. As a child, I would go over to her house for Sunday afternoon visits. She would invariably beckon me over to where she was sitting, silently insert her earphones into my ear so I could hear the baseball game while she would watch my face for some sort of reaction. Unfortunately, there never really was one because I did not quite understand why she thought this was such a big deal – it was just a radio, right?

Now, a Part of Everyday Life

Now, we live in an era where we can fly through the sky at 30,000 feet while enjoying a variety of inflight entertainment options such as: Checking emails, watching our favorite TV shows and movies and staying in touch with family/business colleagues. 

The fields of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity have grown by incredible leaps and bounds over where they were even five years ago. Concepts that seemed almost experimental in scope and possibility are now a reality, expanding well beyond the industry’s original remit of finding a simple way to pass the time inflight.  It is this very technology that is allowing airlines and the industries that support them to meet the needs of passengers—Helping them stay in touch pre-flight, at the gate, and onboard. 

I recently saw an episode of ABC’s Modern Family shot entirely on iPhones that illustrates perfectly the juggling act many of us perform on a daily basis – a very accurate representation of how the average person uses technology to achieve life balance. Series co-creator Steve Levitan says he was inspired to write the episode after a recent experience where he found himself simultaneously communicating via video conference with his family while answering emails, surfing the web and working on a script.

The episode was a perfect example of something many of us (myself included) have experienced during travel. I remember one particularly memorable experience – feeling very important waiting at the gate one evening for my flight to Europe for a business trip, preparing for my meetings, yet all the while on my cell phone – not for a work call, but to try and help my son overcome a moment of stage fright, coaxing him to perform for the pre-school play he was supposed to sing in that night (he was playing the letter ‘S’ for sheep in a musical about the alphabet). *   

The Game of Life Balance

With several advances in digital ingenuity, modern life itself has become an intricate balancing act between the professional and the personal. We are constantly looking for ways to seamlessly incorporate technology into our everyday lives—for work, entertainment and communication – to help manage this balance. It is the ever-expanding world of inflight entertainment and connectivity that is playing a significant role in helping passengers maximize their time and achieve their goals when their work and their personal lives converge. Whether it is keeping up with projects at the office or successfully managing the household chaos in order to get our kids to school on time in the morning, it is indeed a modern miracle.

I am now coming to truly realize my grandmother’s sense of wonder…

* My son did end up going onstage after all.

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