Nicole Simon asks a pretty good question about the digital lifestyle. She is looking for what it means to people. I’m not sure I can give a great answer but here is a nice story about what is happening all around you.
While traveling from Orlando to Las Vegas, I was faced with a very ugly flight delay. It seems there was an in-flight medical emergency whereby the America West flight out of Phoenix had to drop into Jackson, Miss and, once there, get fuel and oxygen for the in-flight system.
The AW team on the ground did a reasonable job getting people lined up with whatever flight connection information they could, etc. The one thing they couldn’t do was tell people what the flight delay was really going to be like and would they actually get the plane in here and go to Vegas.
First, they put up the departure delay from 8:30 to 11:45p. Rule is they never go earlier once they commit to a time. Then it was endless, sorry no information, annoucements.
I have my Motion Tablet PC and I am watching TV on my sling box on my Verizon, all you can drink/one price, edge card. Almost full screen, watching HBO.
After some time, I’m thinking, this is stupid, I can go get some food outside the airport instead of sitting here.
Step one: http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight, type in my flight number and track it. Gee, still on ground in Jackson, heh, they ain’t making it here by 11 anything.
Step two: Find a local Steak -n- Shake by the airport.
Step three: I walk up to the counter and say, look do you have a real time for this plane’s status? No, sir, sorry. Well, I do. I show him my live flytecomm tracking page which now shows the flight airborne, 34,000 feet with a landing time of 12:09a in Orlando. I say, I’m going to Steak and Shake, grab a burger, some fries, and a shake, can I bring you anything? ( I felt bad for all the crap this guy was taking..) Shocked look. Uh, sure, but I can’t promise the plane won’t leave without you. Trust me, I say, I’ll track it while in the Cab and if it comes in for a landing, we’ll high tail it back. Cheeseburger, no onions, small shake. No, problem, my treat, I say.
Step four: Head out, grab some chow. 8 hr battery, Verizon card, etc, never failed/dropped connection. I’m hitting refresh a couple of times, and still watching HBO on demand, catching up on Rome. I come back to airport, bring the guy his food, plane lands at, surprise, 12:09a, taxiing around for whatever, offloads people, cleans up plane, etc, etc.
Step five: Mr. Segal up to the counter, plz. Uh, oh, homeland security is gonna arrest me for the flytecomm stuff, damn. Uh, nope. Guy slips me a first class seat, sorry for the delay, thanks for the food, and can I get that website address again?
Into Vegas around 3a. Surprisingly, no taxi lines, no traffic, and no line up at hotel check in.