The last time I flew was in 1994.
International flights still had a smoking section. A very few passengers in Business or First Class had laptops or cell phones, since laptop computers cost a thousand dollars and more, and it took good credit to get a cellie. When I finished my book, I played Tetris on a Game Boy after listening to the two CDs I'd brought for my Discman. Security consisted of strolling through a metal detector while your purse got x-rayed; your friends could accompany you to the gate.
This time, I was admonished by the stern voice over the speakers that the entire airport grounds of Indianapolis International Airport was a no-smoking zone, parking lots and all; please help us keep Indy healthy! (Burning tobacco apparently being injurious to your health in a way that burning kerosene isn't.)
At the gate, a full third of the passengers were using laptops, and another third had smartphones of some sort; I counted. And the hippie chick with the "COEXIST" sticker on her MacBook and the ring in her eyebrow didn't look like she was going to be sitting in Business Class. The cell phone I used to call my roommate when I landed cost me $15.99 at Target.
When I finished my book, I played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on my Nintendo DS; my iPod had I-have-no-idea how many hundred songs on it, but I never used it, except as a clock.
Security stopped just short, but only just, of full probulation. My driver's license was scrutinized under UV light and compared to my boarding pass. I received one of the shiny new pat-downs at Manchester from a polite and apologetic, but earnest, TSA agent young enough to be my daughter. "Why are you wearing two fleeces?", she asked with a puzzled glance.
"It's New Hampshire out there and I forgot to pack my coat."
Sixteen years ago, Demolition Man was funny-ha-ha. Now it's funny-hmmm.
I'm not going to complain about the little Embraer or the flight experience itself, though, because...