The internet has the power to make anything, regardless of how odd or innocuous it might seem, a viral sensation. Who would have ever thought that cat videos would become a YouTube phenomenon in the mid-noughties? More recently, who could have predicted that people miming the words to a song while doing a strange dance would be classed as talent on TikTok?
The internet moves in mysterious ways and, just when you think you know what’s hot, it pulls a switch on you. Like everyone else, we can’t predict what’s going to become a hit in 2022 and beyond. However, what we can do is look back at some unlikely sensations. From games that almost became extinct to town hall bust-ups, the following viral trends are examples of how unpredictable but entertaining the internet can be.
The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge
my new youtube video airs at 9am pst 🤍 pic.twitter.com/fS1DGmlNow— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) July 9, 2021
There have been so many virtual challenges in recent years that it’s hard to keep up. From the running man and planking to worthwhile movements such as the ice bucket challenge, people like to test themselves on camera. One of the weirdest “challenges” to emerge in 2015 was based on Kylie Jenner’s lips. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star showed off her augmented lips that year and instantly sparked a viral trend. Women around the world were suddenly putting shot glasses on their lips and sucking out the air. The vacuum gave them an instant, if not always successful, lip job.
Bringing Back Bingo
You might have thought bingo went out of fashion with your gran’s old cardigans, but you’d be wrong. The game that was once popular with pensioners has now become an online sensation. Indeed, in the UK alone, online bingo is a £198 million ($271 million) industry. This surge of interest, particularly among younger adults (i.e. people who aren’t 65+), is down to accessibility and innovations. For example, online bingo site Buzz Bingo is available on desktop and mobile devices. As well as themed bingo rooms such as The Voice, it offers bonuses, progressive jackpots, and slots. Basically, it’s an online entertainment hub, which is why bingo is back in fashion.
Town Hall Chaos
In the same way that no one could have predicted these other examples would go viral, the participants in a local town hall meeting couldn’t have known the impact their debate would have. It all started with a Zoom call between local councilors from the small English town of Handforth. Things started badly and quickly descended into chaos when Jackie Weaver decided to play Zoom god. Her decision to evict the meeting’s chairman didn’t go down well at all. Within hours of the clip finding its way onto Twitter, Weaver was the fourth highest trending topic and the town of Handforth had never been more popular.
Anyone Can Become a Star
Those are just three things the internet has taken from relative obscurity and turned into viral sensations. There are many more and there will be many more in the future. The point here is that the digital world knows no bounds. There are no rules when it comes to defining talent and entertainment. That means anyone can become a star. Indeed, this may have been what Andy Warhol (reportedly) meant when he proclaimed that everyone could be world-famous for 15 minutes.