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A case for airplane Wi-Fi being better than the faster Wi-Fi on the ground

Sometimes I feel that a high-speed Internet connection actually might be harmful to us all. It never takes any time for websites to load anymore – and the incredible speed damages our attention span. As a matter of fact, the human attention span has been shortened with a third – just under the 21th century – and high-speed Internet connection might be to blame.

When flying, the Wi-Fi connection is not as fast as in a normal northern European broadband equipped home. The satellites simply do not have the same capacity. Lufthansa’s onboard Internet connection has worked very well for us – and the fact that it does not transfer data at 1000 MB/s, is actually more of an advantage. The airplanes’ Internet connection speed is very pleasant, sufficient but not to fast. The browsing becomes more planned and efficient when the connection just good enough.

When browsing the way-too-fast Internet on ground, it is easy to become forgetful, absent even, and confused. The browser tabs are piling up, and just like a Hydra, for every tab you close, two more pops up. Every new tab leads to two more, and they continue to increase exponentially. It becomes increasingly clear that a high-speed Internet connection fosters unhealthy habits.

Is this fast food version of the Internet really doing us well?

High speed Internet further leads to every click loosing its individual value. You do not even have to read the articles you open, because of the infinite and instant supply. Too slow Internet leads to frustration. There has to be a balance. Then you actually value your new tabs, your read, and focus.

When the Internet speed is sufficient but not too fast, the experience becomes much more enjoyable. Instead of creating absentness, browsing becomes more similar to reading a book or practicing yoga. This is why it might be a good idea to try avoid instant loading speeds – the loading time can be used for reflection and longing for your requested content. Longing can be a very nice feeling, which is easy to forget in this high-speed world. Young people of today grow up without any suspense, in the air however, this becomes possible once more.

Airlines will probably develop and improve their onboard Internet connections. But the question remains however this really is for the better? My hopes are that Lufthansa dare to maintain the connection speed they have now.