Contemporary Legend

Urban Legend

“In the seatback pockets on an airplane, it explains the safety-brace position (put your hands on the seat in front of you and rest your forehead on the seat in front you and lock your body).  Airlines tell you to use this position so your neck will be broken instantly and you will die because it is cheaper for the airline carrier to pay a once-off compensation fee to the deceased person’s family rather than having to provide care for injured survivors, like the permanently injured survivors.”

Ruchira heard this piece of folklore from his physics teacher in 2005.  He also heard this from a friend who watched it on myth-buster.  Ruchira believes that this urban legend is the result of people’s natural skepticism.

I believe that his urban legend is a reflection of today’s popular culture.  In today’s society, people have a tendency to be suspicious of big corporations; therefore, people try to tear them down by portraying them in a negative light.  People believe that big corporations are taking advantage of the common man.  Big corporations are characterized as being untrustworthy and their sole purpose is for monetary gains; they are often thought to be heartless.  The common man feels powerless in comparison to the big companies.  The American culture has a very skeptical nature.  This urban legend paints the public as a helpless victim of the ruthlessness of corporations.  It makes it seem as if the airline companies have no compassion for their customers.  This urban legend continues to fuel the public’s doubt about the trustworthiness of airline carriers.