In this day and age we are so connected to technology that it seems we can no longer escape it. Technology tracks our every move. We, as technology consumers, are constantly updating our whereabouts to our friends and followers on social media and it’s fairly easy to keep track of nearly everyone. Due to GPS in our phones and devices, the internet even knows the location of where we are connecting to Wifi and can recommend restaurants accordingly. Along with the reports of the NSA having the capacity to search through phone records and listen in on calls, and cities like London, having one of the highest numbers of CCTV cameras on the streets keeping an eye its citizens, its feels as though we are always being watched. But in this age of hyperconnectivity, where even our cell phones have tracking devices, how is it that a commercial airliner disappeared into thin air?
The Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has been missing for nearly a week now, leaving no sign of where the 239 passengers and crewmembers are. The plane reportedly fell of the grid as it continued on to Bejing, its destination, over the South China Sea. Efforts are continuing to expand the search for the missing Boeing 777 as officials say the flight may have flown even further after the last contact it had with civilian radar.
It’s terrifying to think that in an age where we rely so heavily on technology to get us through our day, an entire airplane can go missing. Nowadays, when things go wrong in our lives, we instinctively whip out our phones and call or text our families. Something that Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times calls “digital smoke flare.”
“If it sounds crazy that we keep using our smartphones and tablets despite all we now know about how vulnerable they make us to being monitored by the government and corporations, this is the explanation.” Manjoo says of Malaysia Flight 370.
It appears that we have a lot left to learn and Flight 370 has been a wake up call to all those following the story that the world is a lot bigger then we think, and technology can only go so far. Radar signals cannot extend over the vast oceans and the technology we rely on so heavily can still fail us. Being tethered together by technology certainly has its negatives, but in a world as big as ours, being connected to others might help avoid tragedies like the disappearance of Flight 370 in the future.
Manjoo, F. (2104, March 13). Flight 370 and the terror of being off the grid. Retrieved from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/flight-370-and-the-terror-of-being-off-the-grid/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
Metro. (2014, March 13). Missing malaysia airlines jet: What do we actually know about flight mh370?. Retrieved from http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/13/missing-malaysia-airlines-jet-what-do-actually-know-about-flight-mh370-4558450/