The Egg is King
Kylie Jenner had the most liked picture on Instagram, with over 18 million likes, for quite some time. But that record was very recently broken by something very unexpected: an egg. The original photo was posted on January 4, 2019, and as of February 12, 2019, it has over 52 million likes and counting on Instagram. And out of 10 students I asked from this school, 9 of them had either liked or heard about the egg, and the one who didn’t was because they didn’t have an Instagram account. The egg has taken Instagram by storm, and the account the picture was posted on has even been officially verified with a blue check on Instagram. And recently, it has been gaining interest from multiple media companies who want to brand the egg. According to Fastcompany.com, the head of Direct to Consumer business at VaynerMedia, Nik Sharma, has been quoted saying that, “Being the first brand to crack out of the egg is worth at least ten million,” and,“businesses should spend on the egg instead of the Super Bowl.” And, using its fame, the creator of the egg, Chris Godfrey, teamed up with Hulu to create an ad that promoted mental health awareness, especially around social media.
But you may be wondering, why has such a silly picture received so many likes? “Simple things like the egg just bring people together. I probably could just post some random picture of like a flower or a lion or something and get a bunch of likes just because people will come together to like it,” says Junior Pavee Aswanetmanee. The truth is that people aren’t really liking the picture because they like eggs, they’re just liking the picture for the sole purpose of getting it the most likes on Instagram. And this one egg has set off a huge chain reaction of other accounts with the same purpose as the egg, but they will use some other object like a potato or a pear instead of an egg. And these types of accounts or things similar to it that are all over Instagram. For example, there is an account that posts a picture of James Harden everyday on Instagram until he doesn’t even attempt a free throw in a basketball game. Accounts like these are widespread across Instagram for the sole purpose of gaining followers and likes, but they usually never go very far, and the egg just happened to get lucky.
But this viral sensation brings up a few other questions, what direction is social media really heading? And what does social media do for people’s lives? Junior Matthew Li says “Social media has been heading downhill since 2016. It shows that our society likes to act like a bunch of idiots now.” Instagram was originally created as a place for people to be able to share photos and videos of themselves in their lives and to stay connected with their friends from all around the world. But now, it has evolved into much more. It could be argued now that the fact that tens of millions of people are actually just coming together and liking a picture of an egg for no reason is really stupid and it makes us question this current generation.
What’s the point? It’s just some stupid picture of an egg, right? The whole concept of getting likes and comments on Instagram is kind of odd if you think about it. They don’t really do anything for your life, right? Well, that’s actually not always true. Likes and comments on Instagram posts can actually bring people a lot of joy. Seeing when someone likes or comments on your post is usually a great feeling. Junior Johnathan Ly said ,“I don’t go on Instagram much, but getting likes and comments is enjoyable. It helps to boost my ego every time I get that notification buzz on my phone.” But, only in a perfect world would getting likes and comments on Instagram always be a great feeling. Now, Instagram, and most social media platforms have turned people’s lives for the worst. A study published on Guilfordpress.com showed that there is a clear link between social media use and depression/loneliness, as they found that out of 143 students from the University of Pennsylvania, the ones who were assigned to use social media for only 10 minutes per day, were significantly less lonely and depressed at the end. And this is only one of many studies that proves this point. Social media has become a place of peer pressure, jealousy, and depression, especially for the teenagers of this generation. Is this generation doomed for a sad, anxious life revolving around their Instagram posts? Or are we going to right the ship and use social media to positively transform our lives?