Sometimes Internet fame is a bad, bad thing. I suspect that will be the case for an (as yet) unidentified woman who appears in a YouTube video in Denver International Airport (DIA), apparently ignoring the pile of poop her dog has just left on the carpet and giving the finger to a passerby who points it out to her.
How do you feel about air travel these days? Do you head to the airport thinking, "Oh goody! I love being in airports and on airplanes!" My guess is probably not. But just imagine how much more awful your very worst airport experience could be if you arrived at your gate in a rush, looking up at the monitor to make sure you're in the right place, and found you had stepped into a fresh, steaming pile of dog excrement.
Most people with pets have had the unfortunate experience of our furry friend taking an unexpected bathroom break in an inappropriate place. When it happens, most responsible and civilized people immediately apologize and hurry to clean up the mess. But a young woman captured on video at DIA apparently had no such concern after her black-and-white dog pooped on the floor while she chatted on her mobile phone. Another passenger videoed the scene as he rode by on a moving sidewalk, and at the same time called out to her that her dog had just had a bowel movement on the carpet (he used a four-letter word). She responded by moving the phone to her shoulder so she could give him the finger.
The passenger who shot the video noted that the woman had been a fellow passenger on flight 533 from Atlanta to Denver on June 19, and that the dog had yelped and whined through the whole flight. He also included a still close-up of the woman at the end of his video--the flight number and image are clearly intended to help denizens of YouTube and other social media identify the unknown woman so that she can be outed and mocked across the internet.
So far, no further information about her identity is available. But there are enough clues supplied that I think there's a good chance she may be found: The closeup, the dog, the flight number and date, and the fact that she's wearing what looks like it might be a Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt, although I could be very wrong about that, since I'm no expert on sports-themed apparel.
And the outrage. There's lots and lots of outrage all over social media (and media) against this woman who may or may not deserve it. We don't know what happened after the passenger who shot the video rolled away and out of sight. She does step away from the poop in the video but it's not clear, at least not to me, whether she intended to deal with the situation as soon as she was done with her call, or whether she was calling to ask someone to bring paper towels, or whether she did indeed mean to just walk away and let the poop be somebody else's problem. But the Twitter user who tweeted "Who is this entitled woman?" is clearly sure that it's the latter.
That's the fundamental problem with social media: We see something that seems angering, heartwarming, outrageous, or laudable. We make a quick comment, pass it along, and so the opinion spreads. Without anyone really knowing whether it's right or not.
Whoever she is, I hope she comes forward to explain herself soon. Or else that she at least really was planning to leave the dog dirt on the floor, and thus may actually deserve the backlash that will hit if or when her identity is found.