Before everyone was asking if "this is real life" and if "this is going to be forever," all my friends were watching and obsessing over an adorable little girl's narration of a picture book of kittens:
And before that, who could forget about "Charlie Bit Me":
Each of these videos have millions of views, comments, and ratings. People have made their own spinoff versions, some even have blogs and are selling products with the most popular catch-phrases inscribed on them. And while I'm one of those people that gets sucked into it, and can't wait to pass these videos along to everyone I know, I can't help but wonder how it all gets started.
Who was the first person to watch a video of a 7-year-old doped up after surgery and decide this would be the next biggest viral video? How do these simple home videos get so much visibility that everyone knows about them, no matter what city or state they live in? And what are these kids going to think when they grow up and realize they were social media celebrities before they even knew what youtube was?