How I accidentally went viral

Mindless scrolling on Instagram. We all do it. We all know what it is.

On one of my mindless scrolling evenings, I saw a super cool reel that I wanted to recreate. I mean, it is the easiest thing, my skill has improved a bit, I am also a knitter, and it will be easy peasy.

I ask Etienne to record the video but then realized I will need to speak while doing my little instructions and then add the music. Okay, tiny hiccup, but the second take is spot on.

I uploaded the reel to Instagram, feeling very chuffed that it was so quick and easy and so cool. I then forgot about it.

The Next Day.

Etienne asked me if I have checked the count of plays on the video yet and I say no. He tells me, go check it.

This video was posted on 5 November 2022 in the evening. In a matter of days, it reached over a million views and 1000’s of likes and it just kept on going. Every time I open Instagram its notification upon notification. It came to a point where I felt overwhelmed and then did not open it for a few days.

Etienne kept watching though and it just kept on going.

On one of the evenings, I opened it up to a shock. Apparently, I am a thief now. I was named and shamed, and I received comments on my posts about stealing and giving no credit and then I received a personal message saying that I could have at least given credit and it is not cool. This individual took a screen shot of my reel and posted it to her feed with the instructions to her followers to feel free to name and shame.

I wanted to delete the reel. In Instagram world there is a grey area of when to give credit and when you do not have too. Don’t we all just copy each other and add our own flare to it? I can understand if it was the complete audio I used, but I recreated the video yes, but used my own voiceover. I have watched countless reels of the same thing and nowhere credit is given in the comms. The sound is the credit if you are using it, is it not?

In my case I saw the reel, thought it to be really cool and fit my sense of humor and the only thing I used was the music (which is not owned by this individual) but I did my own voiceover, the script is the same, but knitting is knitting and we all know some kind of rhyme to remember the steps.

I had three choices, I could delete the reel and just forget about it, tell this individual that I am not sure where the credit is due cause everyone can make a tutorial of knitting (there are thousands on Instagram alone) or just give the credit she wants. I was raised with good manners so I told her I am sorry if she felt I stole her idea and that I did not want to step on any toes, I will add the credit to her name.

Problem solved. Now she has the credit she wants, the ugly post was deleted, I have my reel and currently it sits on 744 00 likes, 22 257 567 plays and 11 000 comments. Missed it? Check it out here: The Viral Reel

I just wanted to have a lot of followers who I can chat with, do that little ask me anything blocks, polls, questions, chat in the comments and even do some DM’s. Most of this I have done lately, I tried to respond to every single comment, but let me tell you, it is very overwhelming, and I just keep thinking I am going to wake up and be back on my 200 followers again and silly old me will be back to normal, but still this reel gets more likes, and the followers grow.

I even reached a Diabetic and the reel is related to knitting. We chatted a bit and that was cool. I also got kind words from someone saying I should not stop posting and she likes my profile. So, maybe this is not just a good/bad dream, and this is actually happening.

What did I learn from this?

  • People find little old me interesting enough to give me a follow, even share my reels and tag me. They think it is the coolest thing.
  • Posting something random can be done at the right time, right place without even knowing it.
  • Going viral literally happens overnight.
  • If you are not sure about giving credit, just add it. It costs nothing and it will prevent any unpleasant surprises.

My biggest challenge now is to create another one for a different way of knitting (this was requested by quite a few new followers), but with the same dark sense of humor and something completely different but same.

Challenge accepted!

Till next time!

E xx

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