My son Conner is learning first hand what a roller coaster ride having something go viral on the internet can be. He is in the video production class at school, which seems to be the modern day equivalent of high school journalism. Griffin News is a bi-weekly news show that the students write, produce and air for the student body. I’ll be honest… As a parent with a writing background and a working knowledge of the attention span of the average teenager, some of the segments have been a tad, um, challenging to sit through without offering up unsolicited advice.
Fortunately, Conner has been pressing his classmates to bring out the funny… and it’s paid off in ways none of the kids could have expected. Their segment “Mean Teacher Tweets” based on Jimmy Kimmel’s hilarious version of “Mean Celebrity Tweets” has gone viral.
One of Conner’s classmates separated the Teacher Tweets from the rest of the Griffin News segment it was in, and posted it on his personal YouTube channel. (Note: as Momma, I have to tell you that I think Conner’s parody of Justin Long in Dodgeball at about the 3:43 mark is pretty funny.)
This thing has taken off. This morning the kids were on the front page of the paper and written up in this article.
Good Morning America, Time.com, The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed have all picked up the story, and the moral behind the video, which is to be careful what you say about others since words can be so hurtful. The kids are also very excited because the school has been contacted by both the Jimmy Kimmel and the Ellen shows.
UPDATED: Conner and his classmates made the local news. (This video comes with a built in ad and autoplay. Sorry about that!)
Dampening Conner’s spirit a little, is reading some of the comments that people on various sites have made about the video and the teachers. (Or the crazy sick-o’s who decided to look up teacher email addresses and send inappropriate photos to those teachers…) The comment sections on internet sites are a virtual lion’s den for those who haven’t yet experienced the nastiness of internet trolls… those people who derive great pleasure from being giant a-holes and stirring up trouble to see who they can get to take their bait. (Never feed a troll, kids. Just walk away.)
You will rarely know what will end up being the milestone moments of your life at the time that they’re happening. Enjoy the ride, Conner, enjoy the ride. I am proud of you!