My regular meditation (read: surfing the net) over a warm cup of decaffeinated coffee at my favorite little cafe was slightly disrupted yesterday morning. Late was the hour of my arrival to Java Cafe because the Friday night festivities were, well, let’s just say it was eventful. The line in front of me consisted of a mere five people. They were an average lot; a few tourists and a local or two. I rubbed my eyes, wiped the morning away and gazed at the people in line in front of me noting nothing unusual. But then–as if the morning sobriety had suddenly pinched me–I recognized someone. T’was Mark Zuckerberg in board shorts, sandals and a plain t-shirt.
He turned as if to read my mind and nodded as to confirm that I had recognized him. Simultaneously I said, “Hey” and lifted my head in a gesture of hello. It was comforting to note that Mark’s friends were not so unlike my own. I tapped Mark on the shoulder and asked him how he was able to get around in public places without being photo-bombed. He said most people are considerate and then asked my name. In my mind I toyed with the idea of snapping a picture. ’This moment would be much easier to explain with a photo’ I told myself. But I didn’t want to be that annoying paparazzi photographer that wouldn’t leave this guy alone. We shook hands and I said it was nice to meet him. And they left the cafe.
There I was a man of simple means who lives paycheck to paycheck sharing a moment with someone whose life is complicated by 9.4 billion dollars worth of considerations. As a social media geek this is an awkward moment. It’s kind of like how some people get starstruck when they meet a movie star or famous sports figure. To some people, Mark Zuckerberg is the quarterback of one of the winning-est teams in social media, and also the subject of notoriety in the news and even a Hollywood movie. For me, he was just a regular guy with more than 16 million Facebook subscribers that was quite pleasant to meet in person.
A few minutes later I found myself alone in the cafe and the empty-quiet made me smile. I was still the same person and yet something had changed. The coffee still tasted the same, well, slightly less sugar I suppose. I made an honest effort to wait some time before announcing my version of what happened on of all places, Facebook. I waited mainly because I wasn’t sure who might freak-out and run down to my little cafe with the intent to catch Mark in an embarrassing paparazzi moment all because of me. It was a good experience for me. One of my friends said, “don’t wash that hand until I get to touch it”. Another friend told me, “We should talk… about #magicdust”. For me it was just a great story. Something to share among friends. Nothing more.
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