Ridiculous Things that Go Viral


Alex from Target with Ellen Degeneres

We live in a world where we can access everything from our fingertips. We have the power to communicate with people who we have never met from across the globe because social media enables us to share news and updates with everyone. Because of this, there are certain things that become more popular and spread more quickly than others do. To us in the Internet age, we call this going “viral.” And some of these things that go “viral” can be extremely ridiculous. Here is a list of the most ridiculous things that have gone viral in past years:

1. Grumpy Cat – She first started as a picture on Reddit, which got so many likes that her owner posted a video on YouTube. This video now is over 16 million views, and Grumpy Cat has her own merchandise and is an Internet meme used often on social media.

2. The Harlem Shake – This one has different stories of how it started, but needless to say, it evolved into a ridiculous viral dance on YouTube. The Harlem Shake was a 30-second dancing trend of people going crazy on camera. Because it became so popular, everyone wanted to post a video of their own version of The Harlem Shake.

3. KONY 2012 – This started as a video to end the conflict in Uganda and arrest army leader, Joseph Kony. He kidnapped and abducted children in Uganda for three decades. This video quickly became the most viral video of 2012, logging 100 million views in 6 days. However, the creator of the video was eventually detained with charges of public drunkenness. This was a good idea in hopes to end a political crisis, but it was extremely anti-climactic. Everyone stopped talking about it eventually, and the idea died out. No one knows if we actually ever stopped Kony.

4. Nyan Cat – Everyone may remember this colorful poptart flying space cat from its original YouTube video, which garnered over 54 million views in 2011 when it first came out. This cat was everywhere, whether it was on its own merchandise, Internet memes, or countless parodies. The catchy song was stuck in everyone’s heads for days. There were even videos of this cat singing on YouTube for 24 hours at a time!

And finally, the most recent, and the most ridiculous…

5. Alex from Target – In early November, a picture of a boy working at Target was posted on twitter with the hashtag #AlexFromTarget. This picture spread like wildfire on twitter within 24 hours. A few days later, Ellen DeGeneres invited him to fly to Los Angeles and be on her show. He even got verified on twitter only 15 days after the first picture was posted! Some celebrities have struggled for years with trying to get twitter to recognize them as a celebrity, when a simple Target employee got it right away. Alex, just a teenager from Texas, tweeted out “Am I famous now?” obviously in shock that a simple picture of him could go viral.

It makes you wonder: What do these “viral” videos say about us as a society?