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Sunday, August 1, 2010

5 Steps To Becoming A Viral Celebrity

My favorite time of day is early morning. Is it the light of the sun breaking itself through the slats of my mini blinds? The silence of a house that spent the night seduced in somber thought? The smell of that first stick of incense that greets the new day signaling a new born moment in time?

No...It's the anonymity and relatively unspoiled splendor of early morning Facebook. Being a writer affords me the opportunity to sit and contemplate my navel for long stretches of time, but occasionally, I look up from this enriching enterprise to notice a handful of Facebook/Twitter trends and one thing stands out. Each day presents the opportunity for some random variant of humanity to make himself/herself a viral video star. I remember fondly when the Salsa Baby was making the rounds through my FB feed at an alarming rate. Every comment ranging from "How cute" to "What's with that diaper?" were passed along hand to hand (or modem to modem) displaying the dynamic pelvic thrusts of this toddler atop a table. And the current viral cause celebre'?  Antoine Dodson. Unfamiliar with who he is? Take a look...

So what catapults these randomly recorded family moments to viral video phenomena that threatens to spawn the next Justin Bieber? (Join me in shuddering at the thought...). What follows are 5 steps you can take to securing your 15 minutes  seconds of fame on you favorite social network. (And lest anyone actually take this seriously...The following is satire.)

1. Embody the stereotype. Think of every socially uncomfortable, potentially racist, severely politically incorrect use of your time and act it out in front of the camera with zeal and flair. Are you Black with a scattering of teeth? Film yourself spitting watermelon seeds through the gaps in your dental work. Hispanic? Incorporate your love of all things lawn work related with a reference to Arizona and a couple of shots flying sombreros. Asian? Study time is HILARIOUS with just the right combination of rice and a few thoughtfully posed chopsticks. White? Bill O'Reilly. Whatever it is...make fun of it. Self deprecation is the new comedy.

2. Camera + Alcohol = Social Media Rockstar! Nothing brings out a person's inner silly like a potent combination of ego and intoxicants. How else can you explain standing on top of a table to reenact the Single Ladies video wearing a size 28 replica of Beyonce's costume? Usually, if you're unable to recall the night before, you've accomplished your goal of completely misplacing your inhibitions to engage in the perfect mixture of "PLEASE WATCH ME" and "My parent's don't have an internet connection, so I'm cool with making a butt of myself." Try it...but much like texting, don't do it while driving. Oprah thanks you...

3. Babies, babies, BABIES! The quickest way to diffuse the cynical, jaded person who sits at their desk plotting the eventual dismemberment of supervisors, clients and the traffic that made you late for work this morning is to show a baby doing something "grown up". Think cute kid carrying a briefcase, nothing felonious, please! Or just click play to enjoy a bit more of the Salsa Baby!

4. Nostalgia. Remember the 80's? Wearing huge puffy hair, neon shirts that read : Frankie Says? Africa Medallions and Kid N'Play? Remember Reaganomics? (Scratch that...not a good example). Nothing brings out the blissfully ignorant inner child in us like remembering back when we didn't know all the ways in which the world could potentially suck. Find yourself a pair of MC Hammer pants and do the running man on the front lawn, shoot your own version of Papa Don't Preach in the basement or go really wild and do both, while drinking...alot!

5. Laugh at yourself and wear really thick skin, because once it's viral. It's NEVER going to go away!

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