As bloggers, we seek attention. Not all in the same extent, of course. And we don’t all work as hard to pull the spotlight on us, but we all share this need to be known. If you are thinking “I don’t need attention” right now, tell me… Honestly, why do you publish your ideas and art pieces online, if you don’t?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that we’re all just a bunch of narcissists, seeking some kind of Internet fame. Some of us are artists, sharing our work and hoping for feedback, to build our confidence. Some of us are trying to help others by sharing our life experiences, and inspiring people in need. Some of us want to be part of a community and interact with different people around the world.
No matter the reason, we want people to stumble upon and visit our blog.
But The Internets can be tricky sometimes…
I thought a couple of times, about how I’d feel if I woke up one morning, to find out that one of my posts had gone viral overnight. If my number of readers exploded, and the views skyrocketed unexpectedly…
It can seem appealing at first. Many people’s careers started because of a video, a picture or a story that suddenly went viral. Some men and women became successful influencers because of a twist of fate that would have left them totally unknown, if it hadn’t happened.
But there is an ugly side to going viral.
Slowly building a network of readers takes patience, but it brings people to your blog for good reasons. In general, people who visit, do so because they were looking for the type of content you are offering.
Going viral means getting waves of Internet users just curious about the new thing going on. People who don’t necessarely share your point of view or your interests. One post can be taken out of the context of your whole blog, and things can easily go wrong. And fast…
When The Internets go bad, a misinterpreted post can get re-blogged around the world in a matter of hours. And then, you can’t undo it. You can’t make haters go away, or stop people from making fun of you.
It has broken lives.
Some people were turned to ridicule. They were made fun of, relentlessly and for no reason. Some people were threatened. Online bashing is so easy, since haters are facing a screen, and not an actual person.
An innocent tweet, a clumsy Facebook comment, a simple video on YouTube… I don’t have the numbers, but I would bet that a lot more people regret publishing that “turning point post” than the ones that benefited from instant “fame”…
We don’t get to choose what will go viral, and what will fall into oblivion. Who knows? Maybe someday, I might hit the “publish” button, and tickle The Internets enough to get my nickname known all over the planet. You might too. I just hope I’ll be on the good side of “viral” if it ever happens.
Until then, if I can choose… Going viral? Thanks, but no thanks!
How about you? Would you take the chance, if you had the choice?