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I’m not from America

Hi! Let me introduce myself. I’m a 25 year old web developer in Sweden. I use a 24 hour clock, which means I get up at 06.30 and go to bed at 23.00. I am in the timezone GMT+1, which probably means I get up when Americans sleep. To me, today is 2007-04-17, a Tuesday, the second day of my week.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I’m getting tired of Americans assuming US is the world. When picking a random book from the bookshelf I’m expected to know how the educational system in the US works. I’m expected to know the names of popular persons in Hollywood. I’m expected to share your view of American gun policy, and I’m supposed to sing along to your national anthem.

When I shop things I use the Swedish krona (SEK), and I don’t keep track of how it relates to other currencies, because I don’t need to. Of everything I earn I pay about 30% in taxes to the government but got paid to study at the university (everyone here do). I’m writing this on a computer with a 100mbit connection, a fiber cable drawn to my apartment that I pay 229 SEK a month for.

There seems to be a problem in the US with coping with the rest of the world. I’m not disputing that America is where most of the money today is generated. If you say so. But I’m getting worried that Americans forget about the rest of the world.

Sweden has seven political parties, four of which rule the country right now. Two new parties got a lot of votes the last election but didn’t get over the 4% barrier you need. The first one is the pirate party, working for integrity and loosened intellectual rights, and the second one is the feminist party, working for equality between the sexes. Each year there’s new parties entering.

By not respecting and collaborating with the rest of the world you Americans are missing out on a lot of opportunities. What’s worse is that since you brag about your excellence a lot of people envy you, but when you don’t let them in your get them frustrated.

There’s lots of people and countries in the world, don’t assume I’m living in yours. Lets all hug.

Friendly Bit is a blog by Emil Stenström, a Swedish web developer that occasionally gets ideas of how to improve the internet.