The odds of having a video go viral seem smaller than the odds of winning the lottery. So how on Earth, out of all of the people in the world, did an awkward 15-year-old boy living in a random town in Connecticut make a viral Vine?
It all started as a joke. My sister is in college and I always make her laugh, so I send her the most random, spontaneous Snapchats to cheer her up while she is away from home. This one in particular was of me on the toilet, singing "Break Free," by Ariana Grande (who happens to cause 99.9 percent of my asthma attacks). In the video, my voice cracked mid-song. For some odd reason, I decided to save and post it on my Vine account just for fun.
Fast-forward to today and that silly Snapchat to my sister has more than 14.5 million loops, 325,000 likes, 185,000 re-Vines, and 34,0000 comments. Though many of the comments are just people tagging their friends to let them know how ridiculous the video is, other comments are pretty harsh. Under that pointless video, I have comments calling me disgusting and derogatory names.
What is most frightening is I have people telling me to kill myself. Although these comments don’t faze me, it saddens me because I know comments like these really affect and deteriorate some people’s self-esteem. I am appalled that someone even has the audacity to sit behind a screen and say such terrible things to somebody they don’t even know. While it's very infrequent that a teenager has a video of themselves go viral, teens getting bullied on social media is immensely common.
This Vine has opened up many opportunities for me, but my favorite is being able to spread awareness to a large audience. I want other teens to know that they are better than what others depict them to be online, and that they shouldn't give in to negative comments. It's not easy to be picked on — I know this from personal experience — but it is best to stick up for two things: yourself and what's right.
Even though there were many negatives in this rare situation, there were also some positives. For example, I've made some really cool friends over the Internet, and a lot of kindhearted people have supported me. What really freaks me out is when people notice me in public. They take pictures with me and ask me to re-create the famous voice crack. It's still pretty bizarre that so many people have recognized me from that silly six-second video. The one person who I really wanted to see the Vine was Ariana Grande herself, but I can understand if she would be offended by it since I did butcher her amazing multi-platinum hit. I can't complain, though — Ariana follows me on Twitter, has favorited some of my tweets, and has even tweeted at me before!
I can assure you that you will not be seeing me on the red carpet anytime soon, but I will keep on trying to make people laugh. And no, I don't see making Vines as a full-time career. And even though I have made some money promoting brands to my large following, I don't see that as a career, either. As of now, I'm focusing on school and trying to do well so I can have a bright future ahead of me. Profession-wise, I would love to work in the public relations, business, or journalism fields. Vine will just continue to be something I do when I'm bored. Hey, with all the terrible things going on in this world, the least I can do is spread positivity — and some laughs.
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