The Power of Social Media and Creating Viral Celebrities

I’m sure most of us have heard the term “viral videos” before. YouTube was the main resource for all viral videos back in it’s early years in 2005 (i.e. Charlie Bit My Finger, SaladFingers, Keyboard Cat). I find that nowadays, most viral videos are now posted on Instagram or Twitter first, before they even make it to YouTube, and the people starring in the videos become viral video celebrities and memes.

The Power of Sharing a Video

Through the power of retweeting, liking, commenting, and sharing, average everyday people can become famous. I think that Vine was responsible for creating these overnight viral celebrities. For those who do not know, Vine was an app where anyone could post a 6 second video for anyone with the app to see. The videos could also be shared through Twitter and Facebook. Many average people became famous from their Vines, such as King Bach, Cameron Dallas, and Shawn Mendes, to name a few. The site was shut down a few years ago, but is rumoured to be revived in the near future.

Now that Vine no longer exists, social media users are posting their content on Instagram and Twitter. It is easy for one to quickly take out their phone and film something right in front of them, and post it immediately online. Average Joe’s are becoming well-known around the world for their strange quirks and embarrassing moments. Here is a list of a few viral video stars that you might recognize.

The “Walmart Yodeling Kid”

Yes, I am bringing this up. To be completely honest, he was my inspiration for writing this blog post.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.21.28 AM.png

YouTube.com

Last week, Mason Ramsey decided to do a spur-of-the-moment performance of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” at a Walmart in Illinois (you can watch the video on YouTube here: www.youtube.com). His fame did not rise from YouTube, though. After someone shared the video on Twitter with the caption “Me: Where can I find the lightbulbs?; Walmart Employee: (the video),” Mason became a meme and an instant social media viral sensation.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 10.27.57 AM.png

Twitter.com

Mason has a lovely voice, which lead to people commenting on the Twitter post saying that they have listened to the video more than ten times. Twitter users were adding GIFs of people dancing to the online thread saying that they could listen to it all day. With all of the sharing and retweeting, Mason is no longer an average everyday kid, and he is now a viral celebrity. The video was even made into an EDM remix (that is super catchy, might I add). Check it out below:

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YouTube.com

The comments also show that he is trending worldwide.

The power of sharing a video on social media truly amazes me. With a simple click of a button, an average person can become a famous viral celebrity. To leave you all with a few thoughts, here is something to think about and discuss in the comments below: If you think back to a few years ago, an attractive teenager named Alex worked at Target (“Alex From Target”). A young girl took his photo without his knowledge and shared it Twitter, where it blew up and became viral. Although Alex became famous, and even was a guest on Ellen, Alex’s managers at Target were unimpressed and he almost lost his job. So, keeping this in mind, and the repercussions of being a viral star, do you think that Mason, the young Walmart yodeler, would have wanted to be filmed and shared on Twitter? Was his viral fame a blessing or a curse?

 Social media allows for average, everyday people to get their 15 seconds of fame: https://bit.ly/2Jv0MRC 

 One single retweet is powerful, and could create a viral video star: https://bit.ly/2Jv0MRC 

5 thoughts on “The Power of Social Media and Creating Viral Celebrities

  1. I wonder what the patterns are for content that goes wild. If markers could figure that out, it would be like a superpower.

  2. I must admit that I enjoy watching the videos of average people that are shared on Facebook, some videos can sure surprise you as there are many talented people out there. I think that a person should give their consent prior to their video being posted. Sometimes it can be a blessing and in some instances it may not. It depends on the situation and the individual. It is very easy to pull out your phone and record someone but we need to respect each other and need to be aware we too could be recorded at anytime.

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