The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Technology Changing Our Surroundings

Our son came home for Christmas. What a joy for us! He flew in from out West and I went to the airport to pick him up. So, what? Big deal, you say (or would if you were that sort, which you kind readers are not).

The big deal was the surroundings. It's been a while since I've been to our airport. They no longer let you into the airport proper if you do not have a ticket. There was a large area called the "meeting point" just off the baggage claim (and one flight above it). In this space to the right was an information kiosk with one person to answer questions. Above the multiple, automatic doors leading into the airport proper were admonitions against entry in red stating that unauthorized folks trying to enter that way would be charged with a federal crime. On the walls to either side of the portals of release were screens displaying arrival and departure times and status updates in flat screens.

Otherwise there were a few black chairs and lots and lots of empty white wall space. There were no news stands, no products of any kind to look at, no food to purchase. The surroundings were almost as sterile as the rooms Dave Boseman lived out the closing years of his life at the end of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Why was this so? It quickly became obvious (after I thought this is what purgatory must look like). Every person in that room except the information lady pulled out a smart phone and scrolled through their favorite sites or played their favorite games. Myself included after that short observation, made with surprise. I downloaded a game and got busy. Checked Facebook. Then I quickly realized that there was no point in coloring up that waiting area. All the color and content we desired was right there on those little pocket computers. Talk about changing the way we live.  

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