I'm obsessed with going viral, and I'm not ashamed

'To this day, the highest amount of retweets I have gotten is six'

“Okay, what about this?” I say as I queue up my Twitter drafts to run by my best friend. 

“‘They call me the Burger King Whopper burger because I’m impossible.’ Is that good?”

“Maybe just the Whopper thing. I don’t think you need to add it’s Burger King,” she responds. 

This is our routine. When you’re trying to go viral on the internet, proofreading is an essential component. 

Going viral first enticed me at age 11, after I saw "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" in theaters. The documentary’s opening scene was the nail in the coffin for me — Bieber simply uploaded a video of him singing on YouTube, and suddenly Joe Jonas was sharing it with all of his friends in a mass text. 

I thought that sounded easy enough, so I started posting similar videos on YouTube covering Demi Lovato and Adele over a keyboard I only kind of knew how to play.

To my surprise, fame never came. 

The next wave of trying to go viral happened to me about a year later, when I discovered popular vloggers like Jc Caylen, Acacia Brinley and Kian Lawley. Their lives all seemed so interesting — although looking back on it, many of their videos were just daily routines with a VSCO filter slapped on set to sped-up One Direction music in the background. 

Attracted to their fast-paced, beautifully curated California lives, I became intrigued with vlogging. I only made one vlog before I got bored of it. Accidentally filming half of it upside down and not having the editing knowledge to fix it, I was nowhere near close to reaching my end goal of fame and fortune.

As I got a little older, I was still doing the same thing, making YouTube videos for no one. Now 15 and in an extreme indie phase, I was covering songs by Drowners. The only problem is no one was looking for a cover of a song they had never heard of. Anyone who was, wasn’t looking for an out of tune acoustic guitar accompanying an ex-theater girl trained to enunciate every syllable. 

Shockingly enough, still no fame. 

At this point, part of me was having a crisis. Bieber was discovered at 13, so in my head, I was already way behind. What if I never got famous? 

This rut completely shut down my viral wishes for a few years. Then came an entirely new wave of fame I could explore. Soon it was goodbye YouTube, hello Twitter. 

At around 17 years old, getting thousands of retweets was the next thing to excite me. I wanted a pinned tweet with hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets.

So I got drafting. 

To this day, the highest amount of retweets I've gotten is six. 

Then there was TikTok. Following an unsatisfied dream, as a last resort of sorts, I tried to go viral on the popular video-music app. With almost 500 views on one of my videos, I did achieve some small-scale fame but didn’t reach anywhere near my goal. 

READ MORE: TikTok isn't the new Vine — it's much better

While there is still some part of me that craves internet fame, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I may never go viral. Becoming more realistic isn’t a death sentence to my posting, however, it’s just made my posts reek a little less of desperation.

Now that I’m making content for me and my friends to laugh about instead of hoping the world finds me funny, I’m funnier than ever. Going viral is not something I can expect. 

Like everything in life, if it happens, it’ll happen. I guess I have to learn to come to terms with the fact that I may never go viral. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll still be online looking ridiculous, desperate and everything in between. 

Reach the reporter at swindom@asu.edu and follow @SaraWindom on Twitter. 

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