SARS. Ebola. Zika. Names that spread around the world, faster and farther than the outbreaks ever did. Now add another to the list. Millions around the world are petrified of something so small it can’t be seen with the naked eye. Anyone could be a carrier. You don’t know if or when you’ll come in contact with it.
The term is such a dichotomy. We like it when it’s a video. Some random kid or pet doing something cute. A compilation of fails. Weather on the fritz. Drivers out of control. Or people recording themselves doing the latest challenge.
We live in a society where nearly everyone wants to go viral, dying for their five seconds of fame and hoping those five seconds can earn them five minutes or more. Millions are clamoring to be the next internet sensation, the next influencer, the next icon. Even without necessarily having the goal of being big, we engage in countless social exchanges daily. To what end? Perhaps just to feel or know at the end of the day, “I mattered.”
At no other time in history has it been easier for a virus to achieve worldwide transmission. At no other time in history has it been easier for a human to achieve one’s own viral, worldwide transmission.
But what did you actually spread today?
While our recognition of the global impact of a virus or a viral moment is high, what have we actually done? Everyone wants to run screaming. Get me some gloves! Get me a mask! Get me a suit! 23-19! But what if it’s the smallest, simplest things that have the greatest impact? Like basic hygiene….Did you wash your hands often enough today?
And the same goes for getting more likes and comments on posts and pictures. People try to make a show of things in their lives, hoping that an accumulation of thumbs up and heart icons will finally speak to them the words, “You mattered today.” But what if it’s the smallest, simplest things that have the greatest impact? What did you do today for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others today? Did you show yourself that you mattered today? Because you do matter.
Tell yourself that. Tell others. Tell the world. Go viral.