The great tragedy that was flight MH-370 brought with it many questions regarding the pilot’s activity in the days before he took command of the aircraft. At the request of the Malaysian government, the FBI confiscated his computer with the hope of finding some clue as to his state of mind. As a pilot, I understand the need to verify whether or not Captain Shah contributed to the demise of the 227 passengers and 12 crew.
As a writer, I’m occasionally concerned about my own digital footprint. The history of my computer would show routine searches on topics such as C-4, cryptography, chemical weapons, or the many ways to dispose of a body. My own husband has oft raised an eyebrow at my research and gets nervous when I insist that he take a particular plate for breakfast. He shall never have the burnt tortilla.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Aside from methods of mass destruction, I’ve inquired about NSA org charts, the dark web, and even, God help me, Leisure Suit Larry. I felt the need to scan Youtube for fluffy kittens to make up for the last one. It was only to settle a bet, and I’m not giving that link.
My NSA file is creepy enough.
But what do online personae really tell us about the people we befriend in cyber space? A nice, British lady on FB, waning in her final days, wanted my help in moving £ 7.5 M for charity. Of course. Or the dude who keeps sending “message me when you’re free,” after my explanation: happily married. Seriously, go out and meet some actual people. Maybe one of them will slap some sense into him. And the pictures everyone on twitter says are me. Nuh uh.
So, what’s real?
Studies show that people get depressed from the stream of personal press releases on social media. No one posts the grey bowls of oatmeal that they microwaved for dinner. It’s a continuous barrage of precious moments that breeds envy, discontentment, and depression.
If you believe the hype.
I post pictures of my two dogs, my former cat, but they don’t define me. There are days I wish I didn’t have pets. Like this morning, when I cleaned up last night’s treat from the kitchen floor. And while neither of my avatars are retouched, my hair is curled (makes it less curly for me), and I am wearing make-up artfully applied. But as I write this post, I’m in Bermuda sweats and an old, graphic tee of my son’s, and my frizzy locks are secured atop my head with a #2 Ticonderoga pencil.
Nope. Not posting that pic.
The FBI’s report about Captain Shah is expected within a few days. For nearly a month, agents have crawled through every byte the man read, wrote, or stored. But it will never tell the whole story. My continued prayers are with those who are left to wonder and mourn.
p.s. my thanks for the photo “kenz magnified” by Steven Smith