December 5, 2011 1:06 AM

Commentary: Digital gadgets diminish our attention to real life

A young woman pointed to the seat next to mine on a recent flight, prompting me to stand in the aisle so she could move in. Airplane trips afford us opportunities for encounters with strangers. It’s a chance to have conversations with people we’d otherwise never meet. There’s usually excitement in learning where others are going and why, where they’ve been, if they have children and what their dreams are.

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