Are you wrong to want peace and quiet while flying? This study says yes

2018-12-20 14:00
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Passengers traveling by airplane and communicating

(PHOTO: iStock)

Talking to people 40 000 feet in the air isn't everyone's cup of tea. 

Many of us stay within our personal space bubble during a flight. Especially on long-haul flights where striking up a conversation with the wrong fellow passenger at the start of the flight could be detrimental to your overall journey satisfaction.

Mistakenly Seeking Solitude, a paper published by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder from the University of Chicago, says that according to their study you should really reconsider your silent approach.

It found that people think seeking quiet in situations when surrounded by strangers is optimal for their happiness - especially while commuting.

Solitude is bliss, right? Wrong.

"Connecting with strangers may not bring the same long-term benefits as connecting with friends, but our interest is in whether connecting with a stranger is less beneficial than remaining isolated altogether. It is possible that people misunderstand the consequences of distant social interactions, such that people avoid talking to strangers because they expect it will be less pleasant than remaining isolated, when the opposite may actually be true," said the study. 

Why are we ignoring each other when we are inherently such social creatures? The study found that there are two reasons why we do this: "either solitude is a more positive experience than interacting with strangers, or people misunderstand the consequences of distant social connections". 

Distant social connections can, in fact, bring you a lot in the form of business connections, friends and even love.

READ: 5 types of people you're sure to sit next to on a plane

According to Travel and Leisure, an HSBC survey of 5000 travellers found that 16% of travellers make a business connection on a flight while 15% bonded and kept a long-term friendship going.

Most notably, one in every 50 people met their partner or significant other on a flight.

Love is in the air, indeed. 

READ: The South American country where expats are most likely to 'find the one'

There is even an app to meet people. Yes! Use Planely to connect with passengers on the same flight as you. 

Test out their theory next time you travel and see where it lands you. 

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