Going Viral

by Ted Gargiulo — My life, in a word, is unremarkable. Walls don’t smile when I enter a room. Angels don’t sing “Ooo-aahhh!” at the mention of my name. Hordes of love-smitten followers aren’t spilling into an amphitheater, chanting my praises, or clicking “LIKE” on Facebook. 

Apparently, the stuff I post online is even less amazing than I am. Almost daily, we hear of some YouTube video that’s “gone viral.” Please tell me how a homemade clip lasting a few seconds can receive a million views in ONE DAY??? I mean, really! Like, some guy in Scrotum, Nebraska teaches his dog to sing the Star Bangled Banner, and viewers around the world go nuts. Meanwhile, I’ve had a handful of music videos nesting on YouTube for years which, despite the time, energy and creative passion I poured into them, haven’t generated so much as a sniffle, much less a contagion. Seems my labors of love and artistry have made little impression on YouTubers. Not even my small contingent of Facebook “friends” have shown much interest in checking them out. 

The literary marketplace hasn’t been any kinder. I’ve got three published books on Amazon that have sat idle for so long, they’ve started growing hair. My wife tells me readers simply don’t appreciate my style of writing, my wit, my tortured intellect, my je-ne-sais-whatever. To which I reply, “How do readers know WHAT my books are like if they don’t buy them?” Granted, I’m different, decidedly quirky. Not everyone lives in my galaxy. And if they did, I’d have to find another one to live and write about. 

Obscurity notwithstanding, I honestly believe my material is solid, even if only a handful of folks appreciate it. Unfortunately, I suck at promotion, always have. Which could explain why most readers and/or YouTubers don’t know Ted Gargiulo from the crack their sitting on. What, then, must a talented nonentity like me do in this over-the-top, in-your-face culture to grab the public’s attention? If I dove off the Eiffel Tower into a glass of water, would people be more inclined to pick up a copy of my short stories? Not bloody likely. Besides, that stunt’s probably been done already.

So much for my super achievements, or my lack thereof. No matter, I’d rather believe that the true measure of a man’s character is more than the number of “HITS” or “LIKES” he receives on social media.  “For who has despised the day of small things?”  (Zechariah 4:10) 

I consider myself blessed in knowing there are no paparazzi invading my privacy. No fans pestering me for autographs. No one turning blue waiting to see what I create next. No six-figure publishing contracts for material I can’t come up with. No news organizations (not even fake ones) soliciting interviews. No angry mobs with torches tearing through the streets, demanding my resignation—or execution. 

I may just have to settle for being a sweet, all-around nice guy, albeit an unremarkable one—neither exceptionally wonderful nor exceptionally awful. Is a simple, stress free, non-viral existence so terribly grievous? Is having but one adoring fan in my life (my spouse) not sufficient? 
Call me quirky, but in my diminutive galaxy, contentment and personal affirmation far outweigh the gazillions of fickle Earthlings who don’t know I’m alive. 

Now THAT’S a virus worth catching!

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