Writers' Fortnight 2019: Meet the Egg that Poached our Hearts (all 53 million of them!)
By Aarushi Johri, Grade 9, East Campus
At 3 days old, he had five million fans. Eugene now has fifty three million likes, and doesn’t seem to be getting less hype any time soon.
53 million likes.
That type of validation online is what most can only dream of, and the kind Eugene, one mundane egg, achieved.
It all started on January 4th, when Chris Godfrey was home late one night and happened to stumble across a list of most-liked Instagram posts. He noticed that Kylie Jenner held the first spot. “I saw this as a challenge to beat it,” the Instagram creator told Buzzfeed News. “It was nothing personal.”
And so the journey to 18 million began.
Like me, countless other users heard about the egg because of the speed it was being shared. Initially, I didn’t give the egg a second glance. I tapped through the stories promoting the egg at the time, clueless as to why people were so enamoured by the egg, but not curious enough to click on the photo and find out.
On the third day and after numerous Instagram stories I finally gave in and subsequently, nearly dropped my phone. This egg had 3 million likes, while my own pictures were barely scraping 200.
“Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this,” the post says.
Reading that, the target felt like a goal I had set out to achieve. Dethroning Kylie Jenner was such an exciting endeavour, one exhilarating enough to unite the internet to work towards one purpose, accumulating more than 18.2 million likes.
Part of the whole ‘hype’ surrounding the whole phenomenon was about an egg overshadowing Kylie Jenner, Forbes’ youngest ever self-made billionaire.
Evidently, everything worked out and then some.
At the moment, the egg has 53.9 million likes and is continuing to grow, warming the hearts of its many fans.
But gaining fame isn’t the only plan this egg can hatch.
Seeing its growing popularity, Godfrey proceeded to periodically post additional pictures of Eugene slowly cracking more and more as the days passed, capturing the attention of many users while scrambling the hearts of Eugene’s devotees, all extremely concerned for Eugene’s wellbeing.
Finally, on Super Bowl weekend the sad truth about Eugene’s time on social media was revealed.
Eugene was cracking under the pressure of social media, an experience numerous teenagers deal with every single day. He urged others going through the same to talk to someone, and ends with the slogan that Godfrey has been playing with since the beginning, “We got this”.
The video was in partnership with Mental Health America, and was broadcasted by Hulu after the Super Bowl game, spreading past Eugene’s fanbase on Instagram and delving into the hearts of American football fanatics as well.
Initiatives to raise awareness of mental health have been on the rise lately, with Lady Gaga’s popular heartwarming Grammy acceptance speech about mental health being one of the more known examples.
The egg on social media was a bandwagon that every teen jumped on, eager to be part of the revolution that would ultimately overpower Kylie Jenner.
It was the perfect opportunity for organisations seeking to help teenagers dealing with mental illnesses to get recognition amongst Generation Z, which is exactly what Godfrey allowed to happen.
The site talkingegg.info was the brainchild Eugene laid, giving teenagers around the world easy access to mental help organisations in more than 46 countries. The video broadcasting Eugene’s cry for help and promoting the website now has more than 26 million views, allowing these organisations to reach a greater audience that can now seek help.
The video was received extremely well by the media as well, with many outlets like Fortune calling Eugene’s ‘feel-good message’ extremely important, and Instagram users themselves commenting encouraging statements.
One user wrote, “This is utterly adorable and I love the message behind this! I told myself I was silly for following an egg account, but no regrets!”
Eugene’s adorable-ness has been perceived by advertising and political campaign companies as a useful weapon because of its power over the younger generations, but Godfrey’s words reflect that Eugene’s powers will be used for other causes like mental health, allowing reason to believe that Eugene will not be sharing political ideologies anytime soon.
The beauty of this story, of something as pure as an egg becoming the most-liked picture on Instagram solely due to people coming together and working towards a goal, is something we can all hope transcends into real life as well.
The added bonus of the later added mental health benefits just makes the tale a little more pure, and allows people around the world to lead a happier life, sunny-side up.