Three years ago, as a senior in high school, I was approached at Caribou Coffee by a photographer from the Northwest Herald, one of the major papers in my area. She wanted to snap pictures of the group I was with for an article that had already been written about high school students hanging out in coffee joints. The story ended up being on the front page, and the picture took up every inch of space above the fold. (I guess the rest of the world was uneventful that day.)
Two years ago, during my freshman year of college, I fell out of my lofted bed in my dorm room, landing on my desk chair. Sleepily, I directed my browser to my Gmail account. What I saw there was an email from an MTV associate. I blinked several times, trying to focus my eyes. The email was still there. She had read my (really horrible) blog entry about my high school class and our senior prank, somehow deeming the prank interesting enough to be filmed for an episode of MTV's High School Stories. It took me a full month to get over the fact that something I had written in my own small little corner of the internet was sparking the interest of MTV and earning my friends the chance to be on television.
Tonight, I loaded my Flickr page to check for updates from any of my contacts. Instead, I found a message in my inbox from a woman at NowPublic.com, a news site powered by the masses, apparently. She wanted to use my pictures of my cockroach roommates in this article. Apparently, The Houston Museum of Natural Science is offering a whopping twenty-five cents to anyone who donates a live cockroach!
The point here is that, while it's rather exciting to randomly pick up attention from complete strangers without even bothering to publicize myself or my writing or my photos, I'm getting really worried that my fifteen minutes of fame will run out before I get a chance to meet Elijah Wood.