One of the things that really annoys me is what I like to call ‘first world whines’. These are the complaints of people who live lives so pampered that the slightest inconvenience causes them to throw a tantrum.
Take for example, airline flight. This has become unpleasant for many reasons but the one thing that does not bother me is being asked to shut off personal electronic devices (PED) during the take off and landing stages. It seems like such a tiny price to pay in exchange for reducing the chances of the plane crashing.
But apparently this is seen as a major inconvenience for some and they have mounted a campaign to have even that minor restriction removed although experts have warned against it.
The debate over PED use on planes has turned into a seething nest of Angry Birds. On one side are passengers, legislators such as Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and electronics manufacturers and suppliers. These folks question the science, and sense unfairness in the rule requiring travelers to unplug all devices during takeoff and landing. This contingent wants its e-readers, its tablets, its DVD players, its video games, its Words With Friends (that one’s for you, Alec Baldwin) and other techy diversions for the entire span of the journey — not just the middle portion.
In the other corner are airline industry experts, including aviation engineers, professors and flight crew members, who support the regulation based on a variety of findings and rationales. This group, however, is receptive to the possibility of new evidence and innovations that could spark an overhaul of the current rule, as long as the adjustments don’t jeopardize passenger safety.
Are people so dependent on these devices that being disconnected from them for about half an hour is intolerable?