When I fly, I often get to the airport way early. It’s a thing I inherited, or maybe learned, due to nervous traveling. I don’t really relax until the plane takes off and I know we’re on our way.
And sometimes fellow passengers are loud or awful. Sometimes funny things happen, like the guy who really wanted me to see that he was reading Fifty Shades of Grey on that one flight.
And I’ve made a comment now and then about a fellow traveler who was in my face or my space. Or who was wearing enough gardenia perfume to make my eyes water.
You know what I wouldn’t do? I wouldn’t tweet their name. I wouldn’t tweet their photo. I wouldn’t because I know they have people, somewhere, who love them or who are trying to love them, and the Internet doesn’t forget stuff like this. I wouldn’t especially if I had almost 8k followers like Ryan Case does. But I wouldn’t if I only had 50 followers, or three, because it’s rude and cruel and just not funny.
And it’s not entertainment.
I had a relative once who got so stressed about flying that they’d sometimes make a scene or argue - volubly - with the attendant. I remember sitting a couple rows back once when this relative made a scene. I can’t imagine how that would play out in the age of twitter. How it played out then is that, after everyone calmed down, I spent a good long time with my head under the blue airline blanket, trying to stop shaking. And then the plane landed and we all got off, and the only ones who had to live with what just happened were us and the people we chose to talk to about it.
It could have been a show that followed me and mine around for a lifetime. But it wasn’t, and I am grateful for that.
And it shouldn’t be. Yes, you paid for your seat on the plane. That does not make what is happening before you a piece of entertainment. This is a person. Just like you’re a person.
Don’t do this. (donotlinked because don’t give them the clicks either.)
"We do not need flowers. In lieu of flowers, please buy her books and read them. Buy them for others to read until everyone on the planet knows how amazing she was."
— Matthew M. Foster, husband to the recently passed sci fi writer Eugie Foster (via bethrevis)