“It’s a small town, after all…”
Yesterday I read Thomas Friedman’s column “The Whole World is Watching.”
“Three years ago, I was catching a plane at Boston’s Logan airport and went to buy some magazines for the flight. As I approached the cash register, a woman coming from another direction got there just behind me – I thought. But when I put my money down to pay, the woman said in a very loud voice: ‘Excuse me, I was here first!’ And then she fixed me with a piercing stare that said: ‘I know who you are.’ I said I was very sorry, but I was clearly there first. … If that happened today, I would have had a very different reaction. … We’re all public figures now.”
Watch out, the whole world’s watching / blogging / snapping-cam-phone-pics / googling-your-stupid-college-days. The whole world is a small town with a permanent electronic memory. Interesting, but not particularly relevant to me, right? I’m no celebrity, and Bellingham’s not a small town (pop. ~80,000).
That night I was stopped at a red light and heard someone shout my name. It was a high-school kid I didn’t recognize. (I’d spoken to his class, he told me.)
An hour later I was on my way home and stopped at another red light. The driver in the car next to me (who I didn’t recognize) said “Hi, Bob… did you enjoy the fireworks?”
Friedman is right. No more running red lights, kicking puppies, or buying Ben and Jerry’s after midnight for me….