Unsung hero of the internet
Well, it finally happened. After years of sharing the jewels of wisdom that I have acquired through my meditations on Important Things, something I wrote has demonstrably struck a chord with the collective consciousness. The stir that it has caused has taken me completely by surprise, and it had been going on for years before I realized it. This, my friends, is my legacy to the world. “What?” I hear you asking. “Was it your brilliant visualization of general relativity? The way in which you suggested a deep connection between relativity and quantum theory?” Nope. It was a Facebook meme.
I awoke the morning of September 21st to see something strangely familiar in my Facebook feed. An acquaintance had posted one of those Facebook statuses that are copied and pasted endlessly from friend to friend. Except this one was different. It was making fun of all those other statuses in a sarcastic way. What struck me as rather odd was that I was the one who originally wrote it. I had even included it in part of a sound recording I had made at the end of 2014, but hadn’t even thought about it in the months between.
What struck me as even more odd, perhaps due to the fact that I was not yet fully awake, was that I had awoken thinking about this acquaintance after having a very naughty dream. Or had I? Confusing. I decided that she couldn’t possibly have stalked my Facebook profile three years back and then reposted this item, so this mystery demanded research. I put my status’ final, distinctive phrase into the Facebook search bar and saw results something like you will see at this link.
At that time, I was seeing new, publicly-visible statuses with my phrase appearing at the rate of about 100 per hour. Who knows how many more were visible to “friends only.” I was delighted to see how many people were commenting on them and otherwise showing their amusement.
I tried to figure out when the phenomenon had really taken off, and saw that people I was now “friends” with had reposted it before I had even connected with them on Facebook. The very popular “Flying Spaghetti Monster” page had posted a version of it in August 2013, which no doubt helped the propagation of this meme. And there are indeed different mutations of it “out there,” starting from no later than the second day after I posted it. Some have become produced offspring, and some have died out.
If I could have figured out how to make a penny from each repost, I could have accumulated a considerable amount of money . . . and if I could have gotten a fraction of that public enthusiasm for anything I posted on this blog, my head might have exploded from swelling. As things are, I can take satisfaction in having made a few hundred thousand people smile. Even if they’ll never know my name.