I don’t know about you, but this whole writing and connecting online thing is getting exhausting. You spend hours torturing yourself in an effort to extract some deep dark thought from within your brain only to have it met with the digital equivalent of an underwhelming round of applause.
And for what?
The hopes of being chosen. Of being awarded the holy grail of the Internet.
Well, you’re in luck! Because if 2013 is any indication, going viral in 2014 will not require an ounce of talent, perseverance or hard work. In fact, after spending several painstaking minutes researching some of the biggest overnight sensations of 2013, I have been able to whittle the entire process down into 3 very simple steps.
Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Start a blog (optional)
- Step 2: Setup a Twitter or Facebook account (optional)
- Step 3: Say something racist, offensive and/or really stupid. Or do something racist, offensive and/or really stupid and allow someone to take a picture of it or capture it on video.
Think about all of the others that have come before you over the past year. How they have mastered this very simple step by step process and the astounding results they have achieved.
First, there is Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and that whole “gay people are going to hell” thing which, for the record, is so overplayed nowadays. If you are going to judge and condemn an entire community of people that you don’t know, at least make an effort to come up with something original. And while you’re at it, stop blaming God for all of your asinine beliefs.
Then we have Justine Sacco who you may or may not have heard of. She is…sorry…was a PR executive that Tweeted an idiotic comment about not getting AIDS while on her way to Africa because she’s white. The Internet was ablaze with people sharing, commenting, meme-ing, tracking her flight and even showing up at the airport. All in real time. Unfortunately for her stupid trumps white every time.
We shouldn’t forget the parade of idiots during this years Miss America pageant and their forced outrage over someone that does not look like them winning a contest that they don’t watch or care about.
And of course those tasteful “suggestions” people have been leaving on their check in lieu of a tip for their waiter or waitress. That one alone could fill a book. Nice new trend for 2013 by the way. Good job everybody!
My Point Is This
These are the types of things that we have chosen to make viral. Yes. That is correct. We made this stuff viral. Together. All of us.
We thought it was important enough to share. We validated it by throwing in our two cents and commenting. And we pointed and laughed.
We were the ones that slowed down on the highway in an effort to get a closer look at the accident. All while complaining about the traffic that it caused without even realizing the problem was us. Not the accident.
It’s not their fault. They are idiots. More idiots are coming. Trust me. It’s our fault for rewarding them.
So, if we have the power to make something go viral, what if we were to change the rules? What if we only shared the good stuff? The stuff that actually meant something. The stuff that we could show our kids to inspire them to be better people. The stuff that would make us as a society proud of who we have become.
I know. It’s not as much fun to share the video about the town that showed up to support a kid being bullied in school. Or the time Bat Kid saved the city from the hands of The Joker.
But it could be.
Let’s Look At The Big Picture
What if instead of more commentary on Phil Robertson’s right to voice his opinion of gay people, we wrote about the teen that told his Mom he was gay in font of a hidden camera. And how his Mom responded with nothing but pure love for her child. Imagine what that could do for someone fighting that same demon afraid to let their parents know who they really are.
Or what if instead of tracking the minute by minute flight details of some PR executive headed to Africa with a faulty on/off switch in her brain and an overzealous Twitter thumb, we tracked a woman taking that same flight to volunteer and help the people of Africa. And what if instead of an angry mob there to greet her, there was a parade of people to cheer her on and help.
Or what if instead of sharing the racist comments made after the winner of the Miss America pageant was announced, we shared the positive ones so a young impressionable girl of Indian descent really felt what it’s like to have her heritage be accepted and considered beautiful. Instead of controversial. Imagine the impact that could make on her life moving forward and how that might affect us all because of who she becomes.
I know that’s what you are thinking, right? Well, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree and say bullshit. I have to believe that we can create this if we want it bad enough.
If you just move one grain of sand, the world will never be the same. Each one of us will play a role in changing the world. It’s just a matter of whether our role will change it in a positive way or in a negative way.
The Internet gives us that power and the choice.
So, as we wind down on 2013 and gear up for another year, I want to challenge you. And I want you to challenge me.
Let’s change the rules. Let’s change what we write about. Let’s change what we share. Let’s change who we reward and let’s start lifting up those that truly deserve it.
Starting right now.
In the comments below, please share some of the best stories, content, pictures and videos you can find and together let’s make them go viral!