Air Travel Is So Passé

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At the New Yorker, Nathan Heller asks whether or not air travel has become obsolete in a world connected by the Internet and social media (and decides that no, it really hasn’t):

When physical travel cedes to digital exploration, a certain style of discovery falls away. You can explore on your phone; you can explore on the Web. You can stumble on fascinating things. The Internet is a vast, interactive museum engineered by curators and augmented by other visitors’ preferences. Look at this! it says. Click here! Come down this passageway! It lacks physical constraints, but also circumstantial contiguities; all points of passage through it have to be, in some sense, primed. You cannot casually ask about the background image of a Web page and be directed to a secret circus a short walk from where you stand. The stories you uncover through your smartphone are stories, basically, asking to be found.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →