Just plain bizarre: American family on Czech billboard

While whacking the StumbleUpon button today, I landed on this guardian.co.uk story.

A friend of Jeff and Danielle Smith was traveling across the Czech Republic when he spotted a billboard with those very familiar faces. Upon closer inspection he found they were indeed the Smiths and their children.

As it happens Danielle Smith is a blogger, and not surprisingly, blogged her own take on the story at extraordinarymommy.com. She picked a very sharp and damn near spot-on opening line: “So, this is the price we pay for indulging in social media, I guess.” The story goes on to mention she originally heard about this via a Facebook message.

Social media is only part of the equation here, I think. The guardian.co.uk article mentions that the shop owner “thought [the picture] was computer-generated.” So it’s really a mixture of several factors here: technological illiteracy, the world shrinking thanks in part to the Internet and social media, and (what I personally think is probably the most tragic of the three) a decline in manners caused in part by these but which was probably already in motion years prior to the Internet becoming a mainstream form of communication.

This decline in manners is made more evident by an edit Danielle makes to her post, adding:

…if you are part of the smaller percentage who are commenting only to say that a member of my family (or all of us) are ugly, I won’t be approving the comment.  I won’t allow it on my site.  I imagine you understand.

That’s right. People have been commenting on her blog, just to say her family is ugly. How tasteless. How shocking. How revolting. How stark a reminder of just how low we are sinking as a society. It’s tragic, when you think about it.