Going viral sucks.
We’re not talking about influencers and celebrities who make their careers off the attention of the general public, we’re talking about those random, people who are suddenly thrust into the national spotlight for doing something remarkably unremarkable.
The most recent example is that Florida Hot Cop who turned out to be an anti-semite. Surprise, surprise.
But he’s not the first.
Chewbacca Mom, Ken Bone, Gary from Chicago, Chicken Nugget Kid, and most recently, the “Hot Cop” from Florida all shared the same fate — they went super viral for doing something incredibly normal. Then, after a bit of sleuthing, the internet discovered that they were not worthy of the pedestal in which they were placed.
Chewbacca Mom was criticized for charging “fans” $20 for an autograph, Ken Bone turned out to be a creep, Gary from Chicago was a career criminal, and Chicken Nugget Kid used an awful men’s rights activist Twitter account to stoke the fire of his viral.
These viral stars now denounced by viral media and mobs of the pitchfork-wielding outraged on the internet are all Milkshake Ducks, a tweet turned meme that everyone points to when it turns out that our new, beloved internet star isn’t the perfect person that we had hoped.
The whole internet loves Milkshake Duck, a lovely duck that drinks milkshakes! *5 seconds later* We regret to inform you the duck is racist
— Pixelated Boat (@pixelatedboat) June 12, 2016
We’re not denouncing any of these criticisms, but the internet will continue to have a new Milkshake Duck every few weeks if we continue to idolize people on this level for doing things unworthy of our admiration.
Chewbacca Mom had an adorable laugh, Ken Bone wore a red sweater, Gary from Chicago acted like a tourist, Chicken Nugget Kid wanted some free nuggs, and Hot Cop posted a selfie. None of these things are even remotely remarkable, but the meme-hungry nature of the internet and viral media turned each one of these people into a star overnight. We then dissected every aspect of their life, only to be disappointed by what we discovered.
While there’s a lot of good people out there, we are all one tweet away from becoming our own Milkshake Duck. The only way to stop it is to stop idolizing people for doing remarkably unremarkable things on the internet.
We should all set a higher bar for who deserves our attention and maybe then we won’t get let down so damn much.