Sorry ladies, but the UK’s Daily Mail just reported that ‘The Ridiculously Photogenic Guy’ is officially off the market. If you’re not familiar with the story of Zeddie Little… let me fill you in.
Little became an internet sensation after this photo was taken during a 10k race in Charleston, South Carolina.
Can you spot him? While most of the runners sport the inevitable effects of participation in this type of event-- clear expressions of agony, sweaty pits and discomfort-- Little shows quite the opposite. His fresh hairstyle, genuine smile, and over-all good looks have catapulted Little to internet fame, now known as the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.” After a photographer uploaded this picture of Little onto Flickr, the photo went viral, receiving 1.25 million views since it was posted on March 31st. Little even has his own Facebook fan page where he boasts more than 39,000 followers. Fans from India, Romania, Pakistan and around the globe are posting on the page with encouragements for Little to “keep smiling and spreading the joy”!
When almost everyone has a Facebook, Twitter or Flickr account, the ability to ‘go viral’ is becoming an achievable reality. Justin Beiber found his claim to fame after posting charming videos of himself singing onto YouTube. A recent episode of ABC’s Modern Family even pokes fun at the phenomenon when everyone’s favorite- Phil - goes on a rant, and subsequently gets ‘auto tuned’ and put on YouTube. (I provided the link for your enjoyment)
You might be thinking–– So what? I’m not planning on becoming an internet super star anytime soon, why is this relevant to me?
The reality is that social media plays an integral role in all of our lives, for better or for worse. Just as a husband or wife commits to both the good and the bad of his or her life partner, our ‘marriage’ to social media allows us to enjoy several benefits–– we can make and keep connections, plan and spread awareness of parties and events, and access endless forms of online entertainment. However, like a husband who forgets to put down the toilet seat, our reliance on social media has its pitfalls.
I’m sure all of us have said something to a friend or stranger and then immediately regretted it. I know I’ve accidently pulled the “So, when’s the baby due” mistake. But what happens when our little mistakes, slip ups and instances of ‘word vomit’ are permanently documented for the world to see on Facebook or Twitter? Do you really want your Mom, Grandma or better yet, your future employer to see the Facebook photo from last night’s visit to a social house basement, or the next morning’s Tweet regarding the resulting hangover? Didn’t think so.
In light of this, I came up with a few guidelines for the smart social media user:
- First, take a look at your privacy settings. Make sure that only your friends or followers have access to your personal info such as posts, tweets and pictures.
- Do not publicly post information that might allow you to be tracked down by any and everyone such as your phone number, address, e-mail, or birth date.
- Google your name and make sure that no one else is using your identity or writing about you negatively.
- Be prepared for potential employers to ask you about your Facebook or Twitter page in an interview.
- You can’t control what others post, but try to be smart about what you write or place on the Internet. It’s pretty easy to judge what is appropriate and what should be kept off the web.
In a world where privacy is close to extinct, it can be easy to inadvertently misuse social media. However, all it takes is a little bit of care to avoid several problems down the road.
So go ahead, Tweet away! But keep in mind that all it took was a cute smile and good hair for Zeddie Little to ‘go viral’… and proceed with caution!