In the aftermath of the Flight 370 crash, news outlets and culture at large have been captivated by the story. Given the rapid developments of world news and the short attention span of 24-7 news channels, it is all the more surprising that channels like CNN have focused (roughly 90-95%) on this story for roughly three weeks. Meanwhile, discussions regarding Russia and Crimea were mentioned for “just a second” (in the words of one CNN anchor) prior to returning back to Flight 370.
In light of this immense amount of attention, we can draw some observations that teach us about humanity. What follows are several reasons why this story has been so captivating:
- We wonder about the future. Many of us fly, and we worry about our safety. We are partly captivated for selfish reasons — evident by the fact that most of our attention has been on the plane rather than the victims. This is most evident when news anchors use the word “exciting” when describing finding debris and/or wreckage.
- We recognize (yet doubt) the limitations of technology. Part of our fascination results from the disbelief that cell phones, satellites, and radar cannot give us an immediate answer. We find it hard to believe that part of the world is beyond our knowledge.
- We feel loss with fellow human beings. Despite the fact that we probably do not know anyone on board, we sympathize with those who are hurting. Seeing family members wail over their loved ones resonates deep within us.
- We believe that humanity will rise. People want a resolution (e.g., finding debris being called “hope”) to be assured that humanity will overcome our pain and our ignorance. We may have lost 239 lives, but our investigation may save hundreds of lives in the future.