Saturday, April 7, 2018

How Twitter Restored My Faith In Humanity

With the help of some Mario cereal.

Twitter is an interesting place. It is simultaneously voicebox to one of the most laughably horrible people on the planet, and some of the best strangers I don't really know. I never got into Tumblr or Instagram and only use Facebook to keep track of what my closest family are doing (because unfortunately we live far apart), but Twitter always felt like my kind of thing. It's just this steady stream of peoples thoughts, free for you to chime in if you feel like it or not. For some reason I enjoy watching half-strangers share tidbits about their day with me. This and that about a dog or cat, food, very often streaming or gaming. I mean, what is not to like?

It hasn't always been smooth sailing. Trying to keep some people on my feed who are clearly of a different political view means I sometimes read things I strongly disagree with - I choose to do this however because I feel there is a danger in surrounding oneself with just likeminded people. This way I get challenged and an opportunity to evaluate my beliefs in various topics. I also once bought a couple of games of someone on Twitter that never showed up, but being the endless optimist that I am I also chose to put it down to bad post service rather than a scam (and I still keep that person on my feed).

Most of the time however Twitter is a big source of enjoyment for me, and as it turns out, the occasional source of huge surprises.

It must've started with just yet another thought I was sharing on my feed. Very few of the things I tweet are meant to elicit much of a reaction, if someone feel like what I tweet rings a bell or touches on a subject near to heart it's always fun to get a comment back. Most of the time however it's just random thoughts bubbling to the surface, and I think it is both the best and unfortunately for some people the worst thing about Twitter.

And this is it...

While there are very many good things about living in Sweden, like I do, Twitter is a place that often reminds me of how very backwater this country can be. Especially when it comes to selection of commodities. When I recently visited England I tried to explain it to my mother-in-law. We have most things, but only very few of them. Where you will have 50 different flavors of crisps we have three (ok so maybe we have eight or so...). We only recently got the fanta-coca-cola-mixed soda in our stores although I know it's been around since the 80's or something. One of my biggest annoyances has been the fact that we have one (1!) flavor of milkshake (chocolate if you're curious) whereas in England you can find at least strawberry, banana and vanilla and endlessly more if you go for the bottled ones (same goes for Germany which I also sometimes visit).

This is of course such a meaningless, first world kind of problem to have, and if I had to choose between free healthcare and banana flavored milkshake... well it's a tough call. Twitter feels like the perfect place to vent that kind of frustration. So it was when I complained about the fact that Sweden would never see the new Mario cereal that every gaming website I read was writing articles about. I posted about that and didn't think much more of it, which is often the case with my tweets, but clearly someone on my feed had taken my problem to heart. That someone was @Snozell.

Suddenly I see in my DM inbox;
"Hey, remember that Mario cereal conversation we had in November? Do you want me to send some to you?".

I wasn't sure what to think. First of all, no I didn't remember that conversation! Mostly because if I brooded too much about things I would never have I'd go around in a constant state of bitterness. Secondly, wait what? Someone is offering me a completely altruistic gesture of niceness? Surely that can't be right? We're still in 2018 right? The year where humanity can't agree on or be helpful about even the most basic stuff (even though that could probably apply to any year of the calendar)?

I'll admit, my mind was a bit blown. As soon as I had gathered my thoughts somewhat to try to thank this person enough for even having the thought of doing something like this for me, I was worried he didn't know how much it was going to cost him in shipping. Since I often lament the fact that shipping from USA turns out pricier than the item I want I knew that even a box of cereal would probably cost a bunch (the bf recently had to pay 70 euro shipping for a damn sweater...).

But this guy didn't let that deter him. He had bought some Mario cereal and was clearly dead set on making some random person he barely knew in Sweden happy with it. And if he did! It might just be a pack of cereal, but the fact that someone would care enough even though they know basically nothing about me just blows my mind, and probably will for a long time to come. I doubt my own father would be so nice to me, and he's a half-decent person.

The funny, or maybe tragic, thing about this is that pretty much anyone I told this to - colleagues, family, friends - said the same thing: Be careful. Like, how jaded are we in this world to assume that it's practically impossible for a stranger to want to be nice to another without some other, evil!, ulterior motive? People seriously think it's more likely someone would go through all this effort to poison (?) some random person in Sweden than just do a very nice gesture?

Well I can tell anyone who is still on the cynical side, I've tried the cereal and I am still alive and well. And for anyone out there scoffing that they're only basically Lucky Charms, well we don't have that cereal in Sweden either. This was honestly the first time I had a cereal with what seems to be some sort of meringues (?) in them, and it was cool. And it was Mario. And definitely the most expensive cereal I've ever eaten. The first thing my 4 yo wanted to do after tasting them was play Mario Odyssey.

I have no way of thanking @Snozell except saying it, because pretty much everything worth having, food wise, they already have over there hundred-fold. Except if he's into surströmming, in which case I'll send a pack over immediately! (Although I'm not sure you're allowed to send that, it might count as a bio-weapon). We also have soft-cheese in tubes and caviar in tubes. So yeah...

So thank you so much @Snozell for a gesture we don't see often nowadays - wanting to make someone happy just because they can. You are the kind of people the world needs more of.

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