Mourning a Small Town

Mourning a Small Town

When did everyone decide to move here?

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When I was in 4th grade, my best friend and I would ride our bikes to school in the spring. If you're from Western Washington, you'll understand the struggle of having an extremely limited number of sunny days. Drivers would smile at us as we crossed the street, we never had to worry about our bikes being stolen, and we felt very grown up not riding the bus.

On Fridays, we would go to Scott's Dairy Freeze and get a strawberry malt with fries. If we lucked out and had an entire day of sun, we would go to the river. It was too cold to go swimming, but feeling the mountain water run over our feet was enough.

I have a million other memories of adventures we had, but I haven't realized how much I loved living in a small town until it became a big town. Traffic was minimal, the community felt more close-knit, and there were always kids to play with at the park. If you didn't know the people you were surrounded by, chances are you had a mutual friend. I grew up surrounded by mountains. Hiking trails were 10 minutes away, and the air always smelled like pine. Rivers and lakes were cold because they were mountain run off. Growing up, I didn't like living in a small town. Who would want to live somewhere so secluded?

After my first semester at WSU when I went home for winter break, I was shocked. Trees had been cut down to build more houses. Scott's served quality beef in their burgers. The tiny one-screen movie theater had nice velvet chairs. Why was everything nice?

Every time I go back, something new is being built. My small town is fleeting. It's not a surprise that a place 30 minutes from Seattle is expanding (you have to be a different kind of rich to live there), but it makes my heart sad. Hiking trails are overcrowded, my favorite restaurants have been able to up their prices because of the increased demand. Neighborhoods are filled with kids who play video games instead of making their own fun outside.

I wouldn't move home permanently and raise kids there, but if I did, they couldn't have the childhood I did. They'd get mowed over by angry drivers who are late to their downtown Seattle job. Hiking would be full of frustration with people stopping every 2 minutes to take a picture; not to mention parking. $5 can't get you a cheap afternoon treat anymore.

I'm grateful for what I had growing up. I'll always love my hometown no matter how much it changes. But I feel bad for the kids that won't grow up in the same North Bend I did.

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How An Egg Overcame The Odds And Became The Most Liked Post On Instagram

Common sense said no, but the internet said yes.

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On January 4th, an account with the name World_Record_Egg posted a picture of... well, and egg that asked users to like it, share it, and get it to over 18 million likes. This would make it the most liked picture on Instagram ever, taking Kylie Jenner's spot in #1.

The movement was slow, a week in there were less than 2 million likes. However, the second weekend of the posts existence, things took off. Numbers began to climb rapidly. On Sunday, refreshing the account would show it climbing at tens of thousands of likes every second. Excitement grew and grew and grew until that Sunday night, the mission was accomplished, the eagle had landed, the bag was secured. The record was beaten.

The likes, however, did not stop coming. 19 million likes would have put the post well ahead of Kylie. 20 million would have been more than enough to solidify the record for quite a while. However, the internet did not stop there. As of right now, the post is at 46.7 million likes, and is still going up ever so slowly.

Many people consider this stupid. It is just some dumb stunt for clout. It's a troll. It's a meme. Sure, it could be considered all of these things, but it could be seen as so much more. The way I see it. This egg is a place where anybody can come together and support something. People from all walks of life came out to support this post. Young and old. Rich and poor. Famous and obscure. People of all races, religions, and political leanings. The egg was able to unify in an increasingly polarizing world, and that is something that is more than just a meme.

The amount of support behind this egg proves something. That people can come together. Even if it for something as simple as an Instagram post about an egg, it demonstrates common ground between people who might see agreement with each other as impossible. It gives hope that maybe we aren't as doomed as we thought. Our world isn't as polarized as we might think. Quite frankly, it shows that people aren't as different as we think they are... or at least the people on Instagram aren't.

So go ahead, like the egg. Go see for yourself who in your life has liked it. See for yourself if the kid who you hated in highschool, or the cousin who you thought you had nothing in common with, or that kid in your dorm who you always have awkward encounters with in the bathroom, see if they liked the egg too. Show yourself that the people who you originally thought were so totally from you, actually might not be so different after all.

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