On the first Sunday of 2019, a picture of an egg poached Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement as the most-liked picture on Instagram. Prepare for many egg-related puns.
Bear with me.
As far as eggs go, it’s a perfectly ordinary egg. But the number of likes on the post exploded in only 10 days and is currently at over 43 million likes and counting.
The unknown person running the account wrote, “This is madness. What a time to be alive.” And I can affirm, oh, what a wonderful, crazy, and perhaps a touch concerning time it is to be alive, for although you might chuckle or roll your eyes at this shell-breaking news, the cultural significance of this ordinary egg can not be egg-nored.
This new age is dominated by the growth of social media influencers. To humble folks like myself, it’s a bit disconcerting and dehumanizing to have waves of young, ruthless Instagram influencers competing for your attention with their perfect features, statuesque figures, and thrilling lives. Each one is looking for his or her shot at fame by developing a distinctive personal brand, but most get lost in the mire of unoriginality and never achieve true success. And yet an egg did this in only a week.
The formula to virality is sheer luck. What do “Gangnam Style,” the white and gold dress of 2014, Flappy Bird, and Alex from Target all have in common? Absolutely nothing. But they all ended on the same note. Virality comes with little warning, strikes, and moves on to its next victim. Mention any one of the afore-listed items and people’s responses will probably be, “Oh yeah, I think remember that.”
Egg, let me tell you this. Thousands—maybe millions, maybe everyone—are jockeying for the brief chance to be a star. You’ve got it . . . for now. So ride your artificial high off the approval of 43 million easily-entertained, overstimulated strangers. Ride it for all it’s worth because in a week or two, you will be gone. You will quietly collapse within yourself and gently fade into the oblivion of space.
And my article will too fade into the oblivion of The Wheatley Wildcat archives.
But maybe things aren’t so bleak. Maybe this egg is a herald for good things to come in 2019. For you optimists who like your eggs sunny-side up, perhaps this egg is a fleeting beacon of innocence in a bleak, plastic landscape dominated by transient glimpses into the impeccably photoshopped and organized lifestyles of the likes of Kylie Jenner. There is immense satisfaction in seeing and being part of the 43 million and counting people who support a humble and undoctored egg’s mission to overtake a “self-made” billonaire born into privilege.
It is the breakfast of champions and losers. It is enjoyed in every conceivable way from hard-boiled to scrambled. It is the staple in baked goods and pastries. And now, it is the most-liked picture on Instagram.
My faith in humanity has been restored.
Join the revolution! Be a part of history! Go like the egg @world_record_egg !