A spaceship is passing by our solar system. It is so large that earth is merely the size of a dime. We can't make enough ruckus to get noticed until one day, someone has the perfect idea.
At first, people thought it was a very beautiful sunrise until they realized that it was coming up in the West. Sure enough, the word started coming out. A spaceship. Honest-to-God proof of life outside the Earth. Everyone was ecstatic. There were parties in the streets, talk of a national holiday being declared, and a whole lot of tin foil hats on people’s heads. There was one problem, the aliens didn’t notice any of it.
People sent out radio transmissions, bounced signals off satellites, anything to try and make as much noise as possible. But try as the people and governments might, we couldn’t make enough noise to get their attention. People were at a loss, as they felt like they were about to lose the opportunity of the century. There were endless debates in Congress and the U.N., all of them fruitless. But then, one telecommunication regulation lobbyist approached the groups with an idea.
It occurred to this person that the aliens were probably on some kind of survey mission and probably had some form of ambient scanners to try and pick up anomalous signatures that might direct them to what they were looking for. Radio transmissions might be confused for some kind of spike in the electromagnetic field, but if people were to do some kind of local data transmission all at once, then they might show more interest. The idea, then, was to have everyone on Earth send texts all at once at regular intervals.
It was crazy. People were worried about their wireless bills. But the human race said what the hell and did it anyway. Never was there a more worthy excuse to stay up until the wee hours to send cat pictures to all of your friends. And sure enough, after ten intervals of mass texting, the word went out: the ship was changing directions towards us.
No one got any sleep when it was announced that there was a shuttle from the ship touching down. Everyone was waiting with bated breath, wondering what new horizons would open up from our first contact.
But that’s a story for another time.