How to Be Famous on the Internet in 6 Easy Steps:
1. Take off clothes.
2. Take picture.
3. Sprinkle generously with Photoshop.
6. TMZ is calling you.
Okay, just kidding. Seriously, to any offspring reading this: JOKING! Do not memorialize your naked body on any digital medium.
But all kidding aside, there’s a much more savory path to fame, stardom and riches on the world wide web: Twitter.
Well, maybe money and fame is stretching it a bit, but you can at least rub bandwidth with the stars.
For instance, famous people can read your humble little 140 characters and share them because THEY THINK YOU ARE BRILLIANT AND FUNNY!
Has this happened to the Sensible Moms? So kind of you to ask! In fact it has. Behold! P!nk retweeted my little gem:
Yep, P!nk (or her publicist) thought that wee tweet was worth sharing with her almost 22,000,000 followers. By the way, that was tweeted in January 2014 and it is still bouncing around the Twittersphere. We got a notification a couple of days ago:
Now before you go hounding me for my autograph, here is some perspective. Thirteen hundred retweets may not be a lot if you compare us to the likes of Justin Bieber who can get 100K shares even when tweeting forth banality. But, we are no Biebers (thank goodness!) so it’s still pretty cool.
But enough with the humility, let’s get back to my awesomeness. When you have teenage daughters, it’s a rare occasion when you get to impress them. When this Twitter magic happened, I gripped my phone, jumped up and down, and shouted, “I have one degree of separation from P!nk!”
I was met with blank stares.
They were gratifyingly impressed when I explained the P!nk love, but my thirteen year old revisited my original announcement: “What did you mean by, uh, separate degrees?”
I replied, “You know, like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game.”
Blank stares again.
You know those times when you feel the crushing, pulverizing blow of parenting failure? This was one of those times. Now that the days of Cinder Elmo are behind us and we can all enjoy real movies together, how had I never bestowed the knowledge upon them that Kevin Bacon is the center of the entertainment universe?? I blame math and word problems.
So I explained that back in the dark ages of 1994, before Vine and Buzzfeed and all of the magic that is the internet, humans actually had to come up with ways to entertain themselves while sitting around and conversing with each other . . . in person.
Legend Wikipedia has it, that while watching Footloose, three Albright College students, Craig Fass, Brian Turtle, and Mike Ginelli came up with the concept that every actor was associated with Kevin Bacon by six degrees of separation or less.
Never mind that I had to use the internet to find that information. What is truly fascinating about this history lesson is that in the pre-www era, the game could be pinpointed to the creators, and talk shows like The Daily Show were actually interested in interviewing them and crediting them. That is crazy talk. In this age of “entertain me NOW!”, ideas are churned out, stolen, rehashed, and tossed to the side as old news in a matter of 24 hours. Talk shows use blog and Twitter fodder on the daily, but they go out of their way to NOT give credit by doing things such as cutting off watermarks. Our culture is becoming a memed homogenized mush.
But in the middle of my “demise of civilization rant,” my daughter interrupted with this poignant question, “But how did EVERYONE know about it without the internet?”
I can only say that there weren’t many channels so our TV viewing was more focused, the guys were interviewed, and people talked. I guess the news spread the same way everyone in my grade school, as well as the rest of the country, thought Mikey of LIFE cereal fame died from drinking Coke with Pop Rocks. I’m sure some parent has paid their child’s Ivy League bill just so they could grow up to answer these sort of burning questions. Those researchers are the true patriots, my friends.
But back to the Bacon! I had to explain to my kids what the “degrees” were. I am loathe to admit it, but Wikipedia did it better than I ever could. For the love of Persia, they did it in algebraic equation form! Excuse me while I recover from the vapors.
- Kevin Bacon himself has a Bacon number of 0.
- Those actors who have worked directly with Kevin Bacon have a Bacon number of 1.
- If the lowest Bacon number of any actor with whom X has appeared in any movie is N, X’s Bacon number is N+1.
I know, right?! Don’t worry, I got eye rolls from my kids, too. At least you don’t have to live with me, but I am about to redeem myself.
While giving them examples–if Kevin worked with Bob and Bob worked with Betsy, then Betsy has two degrees of separation from the Bacon–I found out the most magically magical thing. If you type in ‘Bacon Number’ and a celebrity’s name into the Google search bar:
You get their Bacon number with an explanation of the degrees of separation:
You do know what this means, don’t you? I am THREE degrees of separation away from Kevin Bacon! ME! Don’t bother to Google it though, because apparently there’s this chick, Ellen DeGeneres, who has a higher search value than me. I’m crafting my email of complaint right now.
So the moral of this story is to embrace the Twitter! And I have a fabulous new way for you to do it: The Big Book of Parenting Tweets.
This book is the brain chick of Twitter Master, Kate Hall, and Cartoonists of Truth, Science of Parenthood. Remember the “Quotable Quotes” and “All in a Day’s Work” features in Reader’s Digest? This collection of tweets reminds me of that because they’re pithy, funny, and completely relevant to your life.
Like this from Kelley’s Breakroom:
And this one from Funny is Family:
This book makes the perfect holiday gift because everyone loves funny, right? And if they don’t, why are they on your list anyway? Get new friends.
You can check out all of the funny that is this book here.
So that’s about it. The perfect way to wrap this all up would be to tweet about it , right? We’ll even help you out.
We have but one request: Don’t forget about us when you’re internet famous.
Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”