Stop trying so hard to go viral. Just stop.

We all remember Charlie Bit My Finger.

The one-minute video was uploaded to YouTube by Howard Davies-Carr in 2007. It shows one of his boys exclaiming that the other had bitten his finger and was a viral phenomenon, viewed 826,985,053 times at last count.

In case there was any doubt that this video is important, it has its own Wikipedia page. So yeah, it’s a big fucking deal.

Video via HDCYT

It also sparked a phenomenon which can now be known as ‘viral-itis’.

‘Viral-itis’ is the condition that is defined (by me) as:

The act of trying desperately to become a YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Internet sensation by uploading an infinite number of things online until one ultimately makes you famous.*

*Video may or may not be very, very staged.

There have been some wonderful examples of this phenomenon over the years.

Many of these have come in the form of weddings.

Specifically: proposals, speeches and dances that are so ‘unstaged’ and ‘spontaneous’ and ‘romantic’ that they just happened to be captured on someone’s pre-prepared iPhone and have probably been uploaded to YouTube about three minutes after they had occurred.

Because that’s what love really means, you unromantic jerks.

Wedding speeches
Wedding speeches. perfect applicants for viral-itis. Source: YouTube.

However, the viral-itis plague hasn’t stopped here.

Anyone seen a hilarious dance move fail recently? Yeah. Me too. And I’m calling bullshit on most of them.

Viral-itis is among many of these dance failures, and the symptoms are shocking…ly staged.

Dance move failures. Staged or not staged? We will never know if viral-itis has taken over. Source: YouTube

Not even babies and animals are immune to viral-itis.

Many photos or videos have made their way around the webs showing these beings doing something adorable or hilarious in a really natural and unplanned setting.

“Quick, they did something adorable!” – Typical phrase uttered by someone presenting with symptoms of viral-itis. Source: YouTube

Although… actually I take that back. I’m OK with the babies and the animals. Their adorableness and hilariousness is timeless and not even a highly staged photo/video/post can ruin that.

Just look at these twins talking to each other! It’s the stuff of classic comedy.

I know, I know.

Why must I care so much? Surely I should just keep scrolling down my Facebook feed, not engaging with any of the painfully forced uploads that are clear presentations of viral-itis.

Because, I too like to laugh sometimes. And it’s really freaking difficult to know which viral posts/videos/photos are authentic and hilarious and genuine and which are not.

And that is really very annoying for me.

So, potential sufferers of viral-itis, I would like to take this opportunity to establish some ground rules when uploading in the future.

Do you have a staged and over the top dance fail? Too much.

Are you planning on rapping a wedding speech and then immediately uploading the result? Don’t do this.

But do you have a hilarious and authentic video of a child biting another child’s finger? Just enough.

Please, please take note and take care to just let the funny happen in future, Internet.