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Why You Shouldn’t Watch Movies on a Plane (and What to Do Instead)

Why You Shouldn’t Watch Movies on a Plane (and What to Do Instead)

If you’re like most people, you might be wary of the idea of watching movies on planes. After all, there’s nothing worse than sitting next to an inconsiderate movie watcher and having to listen to the constant whirring of the projector or, even worse, having to listen to their commentary about what’s happening on the screen. So why not just avoid watching movies altogether on your next flight? While some people might consider this option, it can actually be more beneficial to your travel experience than you may think.

Why you shouldn’t watch movies on a plane
Watching movies on a plane is distracting, causes eyestrain, and can be dangerous if you are not aware of your surroundings. Plus, watching movies on a plane is expensive! Save your money for when you land by reading a book or magazine instead.

Put that phone down
Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch movies and TV shows when I’m traveling. But not when I’m flying. When you’re flying, you’re in an enclosed space with little ventilation. Watching movies can cause your eyes to dry out quickly, which is only made worse by the cabin’s low humidity.

Read books
Reading is the perfect activity for when you’re in transit, which is why we’ve compiled a list of suggestions for books you can pick up at your local library, bookstore, or borrow from friends.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: A classic novel about following your dreams and believing in magic.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: A sci-fi adventure about VR and video games.
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.

Learn something new
Unless you’re lucky enough to be in first class, you’ll have to contend with fellow passengers and their noise levels. Plus, when the plane descends for landing, your ears will already be plugged up from the flight. Watching an in-flight movie will make it even more difficult for you to hear announcements about turbulence or other important information that might affect your safety.

Switch your brain off
As the plane ascends, you feel yourself becoming more and more agitated. The person next to you has been kicking your seat nonstop since takeoff and now they’re kicking it again. The person in front of you is reclining their seat as far back as possible, creating an unsolvable problem for the person behind them who can’t see anything. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, your neighbor starts scrolling through their phone, making the screen’s light spill into your space.

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Sleep
If you’re flying across the country, you might be tempted to spend hours watching movies and TV shows, but experts say this is a bad idea. The blue light from the screen can impact your body’s production of melatonin, which makes it harder to sleep. One study found that those who watched video for six hours during the night slept 40% less than those who had an uninterrupted dark period. And what about all those messages popping up during an in-flight movie? Not only will they interrupt your viewing experience, they can also disrupt deep sleep cycles when you’re trying to recharge for work or school tomorrow morning.

Stare at someone awkwardly
I once watched six episodes of American Horror Story: Asylum in one sitting on a plane ride. It was terrible, but I had no choice. There’s nothing else to do! This is a mistake that you should avoid at all costs. Here are some better ideas for how you can spend your time during those long flights.

Count your blessings, not sheep
I find that the best way to avoid this temptation is by counting my blessings. This will get your mind off the movie and give you something else to focus on for a while. Here are some examples of things I like to count:

  1. The number of people who wished me well today 2. The number of good deeds I did 3. The number of times I laughed 4. The number of hugs I received 5. The number of laughs shared with friends 6. The number of smiles exchanged.
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