Quite frankly, I've been on a desperate lookout for unfortunate people whose actions would be immortalized through the eye of my camera phone. The award goes to this uncle on the 151 bus I was taking with Graham.
Thinking about it, I have no problem with people who clip their nails discreetly. Because to be brutally honest, I don't care that the nails fall onto the bus floor. It's a public bus. We don't lick the floors of private buses, let alone public buses. And the driver does a sweep at the end of each round anyway.
I know I'm bad.
More importantly, he was doing it blatantly, and... 'enthusiastically'. It was a 3-in-1 clipper, so our friend dug dirt from under his cuticles with all his might, clipped his nails with all his might, filed with all his might, and blew at his nails with all his might. Moreover, his nails are thick, and dirty (smoker, I think). The problem I have with this strange factor relates to a personal experience.
Once, I was clipping my toenails outside my house, sitting on the staircase landing. I was waging a world war with my big toe nail because it refused to be clipped, stopping the almighty power of the nail clipper halfway through. I twisted and rattled the nail clipper, and that stupid big toenail taught me a big lesson by sacrificing itself.
Before I could react, half the nail snapped off, and boomeranged towards my face. It missed me in the end, but I froze in icy fear as it passed by my ear, or more accurately BUZZED past my ear. That's right. It was spinning so fast from flying off that it went vvmmm as it shot past me. I knew then how it felt to have bullets missing you by an inch - how it felt and how it sounded. That thing could have sliced my eyebrow off!
Now. Return to the uncle in the bus. The bus was relatively empty, but what if there had been people behind him?! Or in fact, as you can see I was to the slight bottom right of him. The clipped nail could have flown up down left right, and hit someone. If it doesn't cause physical damage, at least stop to think of the psychological damage caused by pulling a cut nail from your hair.
Rosen very aptly coined a new word in his article The Naked Crowd. 'Omnipticon', 'in which the many watch the many, though no one knows precisely who is watching or being watched at any given time' (Rosen, 2004). This uncle has the luxury of not worrying about this, unless he has an affair with...... which looks unlikely, in any event. But we, the users and wielders of the Internet, of Web 2.0, have to consider and consider again our every move and action. A racially biased joke meant to be kept within a small community of friends has a million ways of being leaked to the wrath of the whole world, we've seen instances of that happening so many times. In these times, we cannot afford anymore to be careless or frivolous about what we say or do, online, or offline.
Rosen, J. (2004, July 19). The Naked Crowd. Retrieved March 10, 2007 from http://www.spiked-online.com/Printable/0000000CA5FF.htm