The viral tip is part of a broader phenomenon in which the ease of making digital imagery — which can be shared at unprecedented rates — is turning all the surfaces of the world into potential screens. To spoil the predictable end of It Could Happen To You, the police officer and his lottery-sharing server end up married, and they begin their honeymoon in a hot air balloon with the words “Cop Weds Waitress!” printed across it in giant letters. In our era, the surface itself does not have to be large to broadcast our personal feelings or milestone events. Our camera phones let us inflate any message to the size of blimps and beyond.
Meanwhile, the family diner continues to haunt social media feeds, its analog mix of warmth and chill having made the successful crossing to digital. In early July, a man in Boise, Idaho was at Big Jud’s burger restaurant with his family. During the meal, he wrote “F*** OFF” in crayon on one of the free face masks that his server, Alesia Jones, had provided. As the management pointed out in a post on their Facebook page, masks are mandated in Boise. This post included a picture of the profane mask: yet another surface turned, through digital technology, into a billboard visible around the world. Jones received a seven percent tip from this table, and then was overwhelmed with well-wishers who heard about the story online.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor