Today I’m going to talk about a little kid named Carter. 3 days ago Carter was just an ordinary little boy. He went about his days doing whatever it is little boys do, and that was about it for Carter.
Then his neighbour, a Reddit user by the name of Theone211, posted a photo of Carter with the caption: “This is Carter. He knocked on my door to ask if he could have a banana, then left.”
When you think about a kid walking up to his neighbours house, demanding fruit, then leaving (complete with mini Oakley sunglasses and snow gear)… well, Carter seems like a little bit of a badass.
This is where the internet really shines. There’s a lot of talk about how negative people can be on Social Media; cyberbullying and the like, but it’s commonplace (on Reddit in particular) for complete strangers to band together and make something truly awesome out of what was initially a fairly standard photograph of a young boy eating a Banana.
Within an hour or so, another Redditor overlayed the picture of Carter with some witty text and after that it was on like Donkey Kong. Other Redditors started responding to the initial post by sharing their own, photoshopped, versions of Carter in all his Banana munching glory.
Here are some of my favorites:
The amazing part of all this is how quickly memes can become global property now. They literally appear out of nowhere in a matter of hours and spread across the entire planet within a day. When else in history have we seen people on opposite sides of the planet sharing jokes together about someone they’d never even heard of a few hours ago? These memes aren’t entirely just a flash in the pan either, regardless of how quickly they explode. They can maintain a level of longevity as some internet users continue to use a meme months and years beyond what you would expect to be its use by date. Resurfacing a meme months after it’s use has decayed is a common way of getting a cheap laugh and it happens all the time, often morphing the original meaning/context of the meme as we go – continually evolving and advancing our modern culture – just like the internet itself.
My question is, have you ever contributed positively to an online conversation that has grown into something much greater than the sum of its parts? Have you been involved in something that has gone viral? Next time someone posts a picture you like, maybe just join the conversation and see what happens. The internet is very big and very awesome and you never know what might happen.
Matt Newton is the Social Media Specialist at BCM partnership and would like a banana, please.