How I Started An Internet Trend




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- I started an internet trend and this is the story. This story starts on a lazy Sunday. I was hanging out in my apartment alone, just having a weird day. Sometimes I like to have weird days, and I play Nintendo and I eat stuff and I drink beer and it's great. So this is one of those Sundays and I'm scrollin' social media, which is my favorite thing to do, and I notice that there's this whole conversation going on about the way Ariana Grande is dressed on this album cover. Some people are saying that a women shouldn't have to dress like that because she's a singer. What does her body have to do with it? Other people were saying that she should dress however she wants. Even though this album came out three years ago, everyone was dissecting what she's wearing. I was staring at this album cover for like an hour for a different reason. She is seated on the stool in a way that didn't make sense to my brain. It's like one of those drawings of a staircase that goes on forever, (eerie music) it was like an optical illusion. I didn't understand how it was physically possible that this picture could've been taken. She's kneeling in this way. Even my hands feel awkward trying to do it, but it does look plausible enough where maybe she did take the photo. It wasn't like, oh, this is an obviously bad Photoshop. It was driving me fucking crazy. So, at first, I'm genuinely not thinking about social media or the internet, and I filled up my camera roll with photos of myself kneeling on a stool in front of a mirror to try to see if I could do it. I couldn't, first of all. I fell down multiple times, I almost broke my arm, and I'm looking back through all these photos and I'm like, I look fucking crazy right now, but I feel like other people would be interested in this. I pick a couple photos that show I'm really struggling, I also pick ones that don't clearly show my face because it's a little embarrassing. So I posted it to Twitter. Then I usually take my tweets and I screen grab them and put them on Instagram. I hashtag Ariana Grande. No one really notices it for a couple hours. I continue drinking beer and playing Zelda, and then my phone starts blowing up. I realize it's taken off on Instagram. If you post it on Instagram, the most amount of people that usually are going to like something are your followers, and I didn't have that many followers at the time. All of a sudden it has 40-something thousand likes. I'm getting tagged in photos of people trying it themselves. Now people are going back to finding me on Twitter, posting replies to my original tweet of them doing it. I can't understate how quickly this thing was just blowing up my mentions. My phone was hard to use, (bomb explodes) it was running so slowly. It was from Instagram and Twitter just buzz, buzz, buzz. I started actually getting nervous. I'm like, what if there's something in the background of the photo that people are just gonna make fun of me for. What if my job has some weird deal with Ariana Grande that they're like, you blew it! When I walk over to my phone and pick it up and see my latest notification, it said Ariana Grande replied to your tweet. (door slams) I'm assuming, at this point, this is a fan account. If you look at pop stars like Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, they have these huge fan accounts, some of them are verified. I thought this was one of them. I opened Twitter, I see Ariana Grande actually quote tweeted my tweet, 'Next week on MythBusters,' and at that point I'm like, fuck. She is one of the biggest Twitter accounts. Young fans are a horrifying force. If they think that you're going after a star, you're done. So I was immediately terrified that Ariana Grande interacted with it because I was like, okay, the fans are coming for me. It was like I felt the fuckin' stampede. Luckily, this was a positive force. They were all happy about it. They were all positive about it, which was great. My Instagram followers grew like crazy, which is good, but it's a lot of Ariana Grande fans who are gonna be sadly disappointed when I post the next selfie. At this point, things went from being, let's say, blowing up on social media to viral. I think people throw around the word viral. People will say this went viral when really it just got shared in their local fishing community Facebook page or something, and that's pretty much everything I have ever posted that's done super well. It's been like, oh yeah, this corner of the internet who loves the movie Hocus Pocus shared this thing, but I wouldn't say it went viral. To me, something actually going viral means that your mom's neighbor's hairdresser knows about it. I'm getting emails from Good Morning America, I got a message from someone at The View. There's one from Australia, there's one from The Netherlands, there's an international television producers who were messaging me and emailing me. So I'm just, honestly, excited by this. It is nerve wracking. When TV shows reached out, I'm thinking, use the photos all you want, talk about it, I do not want to be on TV talking about how I spent my Sunday in my underwear taking pictures of myself in an Ariana Grande pose. I just couldn't do it (laughs). I think the pinnacle of what I would call this going viral, like something actually going viral, is my mom texting me saying she's at the nail salon and opened In Touch magazine and saw a story about the Ariana Grande stool thing that mentioned me. To me, the watermark of viral is now if your mom texts you from the nail salon that she just read in a magazine about the thing you made. There is a lot I learned from this experience. It was really nice seeing that you can make something that's just earnest, just an observation. It wasn't making fun of Ariana Grande, it wasn't making fun of the people who designed the album cover, it wasn't making fun of her fans. It was just something that, universally, was a fun thing to participate in. I basically ended all of it by trying the stool challenge myself for real this time, and I just posted a photo that was me in the stool as best as I could pose that said, myth plausible. To this day, I do not think I've seen one person successfully pose in the same way she did. This happened last year, but I'm gonna say the challenge lives on. If you're watching this, try it yourself and tag me if you think you can actually do it because I don't think it's actually been done so far. (classical music) (door squeaks)