Loved this article on Minimal Mac about Airplane mode. Last week things were getting really busy at work and I decided to turn off all Twitter notifications. For people I really like following, I had it set up so I got a text message when they posted. Until I turned off Notifications, I had no idea how distracted I really was. I've been so much more productive and strangely, I like Twitter more now. It's gone from being a message box I need to pay attention to and get through (and therefore a job), to something that is elective. I check it when I want and it's fun like that. Maybe I should experiment with airplane mode.
He picked me up and, shortly after getting in his car, his iPhone was all business – ringing, beeping, and buzzing with potential activity. He silenced it, we continued our conversation, and just a couple of minutes later, the iPhone was back to business again. At this point, he picked it up and placed it in Airplane Mode, which cuts wi-fi and 3G but leaves the phone otherwise functional. Respectfully, I did the same.
My first thought was, wow, what a show of respect for me and our time together. I was honored and humbled by this simple act that broadcasted that nothing was more important to him (and, trust me, he has other things far more important).
Secondly, it got me to thinking why he chose Airplane Mode versus turning the phone off. After a few minutes at lunch it became readily apparent. We were showing photos across the table about our recent travels and activities. We were sharing tips, ideas and links and taking notes. We were communing and catching up by using this tremendously powerful technology in ways that enriched the conversation, not distracted from it.