cat painting, cat video

VIRALOCITY: White Men Wearing Google Glass (#350)

Hello there.  Today starts the first first day of what I hope will be a new series called, “Viralocity.”  I’m going to talk about some different things that are going pretty viral on the web in different ways, across different platforms.  The best and quickest way to structure this is going to be to talk about the Who, What, Where, and Why of a viral entity.  Ending with the why because for our purposes the why may be the most important thing.  As in, why in the heck is this odd thing going viral?


cat video cat playing piano


To reiterate, the concept for “Viralocity” is that simple: What Makes Things Sticky On The Internet?


I’m not an expert (because in my opinion NO ONE is an expert on the internet), but I do have a fairly educated opinion that I will share with you.  However, this series won’t work without you and an honest exchange of information.  So, tell me in the comments section below about what you’ve seen (and been fascinated by) on the internet this week.  You can also tell me why you think the below properties might be going viral, as well.  Chances are, you might even have a better idea than I do.  Let us begin.


The What:  White Men Wearing Google Glass

White Men Wearing Google Glass exists in two places – on tumblr and on twitter.  The tumblr version is the most viral.  I don’t know what its exact numbers are, but it’s being talked about everywhere – here for example and here.


White Men Wearing Google Glass


Where:  WMWG tumblr link.  WMWG twitter link.  


The author is anonymous.
I find that interesting.  If you create something this sticky and talked about on the interwebs – why not take credit for it?


When:  Right now, people, right now.  The thing is so new that there are only about 31 pictures on the tumblr and the blog has only been up for about 5 days.  Which is an interesting point about virality – why are some things hot immediately and then others take years to catch on?


The Why:
White Men Wearing Google Glass is interesting because IT’S PROVOCATIVE.  When I heard about this meme my immediate thought was, “Of course because I’ve never seen a black man or a woman wearing these things anywhere.”  White Men Wearing Google Glass speaks to the gender and class divide that may be happening in the technology industry.  There are more male software developers than woman and those are the guys  that are trying these out.  Google Glass is also expensive.  I think a pair costs around $1500 a pop currently, so that speaks to who is buying the first round of them up – white dudes.  Ultimately, who cares who buys them first, you might be thinking.  However, there is this idea that the ultimate democracy is the internet and it’s not that democratic if  the people with the most money get things first.  I liken it to the massive blackout that occurred, a few years ago, while I lived in New York city.  When the lights came back on, they came back on in the higher income areas first.  Interesting, isn’t it?


Anyway, from a sticky perspective White Guys Wearing Google Glass works.  It spurs debate.  It spurs submissions.  Anytime you can create something where people will fall all over themselves to submit content for your entity, then you’ve got something.  People are submitting White Guys In Google Glass pics in droves.  (It reminds me of the “Binders Full Of Women” tumblr that I wrote about here.)  WMWG also spurs response content like the “Women With Glass” tumblr you can read about here.


Those are my thoughts.  Now, I’d like to hear yours.  Leave ‘em for me in the comments section below.


Hope you have a great week.


Sweet Mother.



Sweet Mother is regularly updated on the quest towards 365 consecutive posts.  AND WE’RE ALMOST THERE.  Join me, by clicking the “follow” button at the top of this blog.  If you’d like to read more Sweet Mother, please check out the extensive archives section.



Photo creds:

google glass dudes, cat-painting


21 thoughts on “VIRALOCITY: White Men Wearing Google Glass (#350)

  1. Hmm, never heard of Google Glass until 5 minutes ago. Judging by the picture it’s not something that will have any impact on my life either 🙂

    Interesting idea for posts though, I’ll try and keep up with the rest!

    Personally I think teen boys are responsible for 90% of the viral cr@p that gets around these days. Or idjits on Facebook… Just sayin’

    1. “Personally I think teen boys are responsible for 90% of the viral cr@p that gets around these days. Or idjits on Facebook… Just sayin’” — ohhhh, kanerva, you have no idea how much that made me laugh. AND how goddermend accurate that statement is. what’s interesting is that all of these outlets – tv, companies, etc — they really want that 18-34 year old boy/ man demo when a great MAJORITY of social media users are women. for example, pinterest, used mainly by women. yet, they never want our dollars for some reason. they used to say over and over – women don’t go to the movies or they just go and see what their boyfriend wants to see and that’s why movies were often marketed to men UNTIL twilight happened and then things shifted slightly. so, it will be interesting to see what happens on the interwebs. thanks for reading. much love, sm

  2. Thanks for the education, SM. I had to look up what Google Glass is! I haven’t upgraded, and I use the term loosely, to a smartphone (that term is used even more loosely) because it baffles me how escaping from one unreality (what most call life) into another one would enhance my human experience. I like blogging and twitter, both in moderation and mindful of my choices. Social media and the gadgets that enable its promiscuous use are not appealing to me. While I enjoy sharing online what I see, think, find funny, I’m just as happy doing the same face to face with an audience of one. I’m not the demographic for stuff going viral, and I do find it interesting! xoxoM

    1. i think the only reason i have any sanity in regards to this stuff is because i grew up WITHOUT the internet. i don’t know how today’s kids grow up on a diet of it without becoming cyborgs. the same as you — i truly believe that you have to pick what you like and run with that. if you try to be everywhere at once, you’ll be nowhere. for me, i’m here and on twitter. everything else is just experimentation. same as you – regardless of where i’m spending my time – i DO find this silliness fascinating! thanks for reading, margs. xoxo, sm

      1. I think that on some level it IS a statement of our search for connection, just as human beings. My daughter, who’s had access to all this technology far younger than I, and who’s enjoyed online friendships for many years, is still not a mindless consumer of the cyber world. We can see how quickly it can create a sense of connection and intimacy, and for those who have not experienced these in the flesh-and-blood realm, it’s very seductive, indeed. I’ll continue to rubberneck with you! xoxoM

      2. such great points, all around, margs. i think the wack-a-loons happen when someone does NOT have the healthy real life relationships that say you have with your daughter then they go online under an anonymous name and they act like wild animals. that’s when the problems occur – no good relationships to begin with and anonymity which results in no consequences and then you have a bomb in a lot of ways. BUT, if we all talk about these things and show the good on the internet – like us conversing, for example, like your daughter and the relationships she has formed, as another – then i think in the long run a sort of cyber etiquette will form, if it hasn’t already. anyway, as always, stimulating thoughts. xoxo, sm

      3. I’m total with you on the ‘how come they all don’t turn into cyborgs’ question. I have no idea what my brain would have done with access to all that information…and I’d hate to think what I would have gotten myself into in chat rooms- eeeek!

  3. I am fascinated about the whole going viral concept- who wouldn’t want a blog post to go viral? There’s a knitting pattern on Raverly called the hitchhiker scarf that went viral and is making the designer a good deal of money. ahh to think of the next viral thing…

    1. that is fascinating, cycling. i’m also fascinated when non-video/ non-tumblr posts go viral too and the knitting one sounds so interesting. in the upcoming weeks, i’ll focus on some ‘written’ blogs and why they go viral because i truly think that’s harder to do. anyway, thanks for commenting and i’m glad you enjoyed reading this. i always enjoy seeing you here. much love, sm

  4. I think the reason things go viral is because a few people think ‘Oh this is cool, let me show my friends! and some agree, then show their friends, and after a bit, you have some folks talking about it, and others (who may not have any idea what it is) decide to look it up. They decide to share it so they aren’t thought to be out of the loop.

    As for the Google Glass, I think the reason you see so many white men with it is simple marketing. Think about it, what’s the group that’s totally okay to bash anymore without guilt, or recriminations? White men with money. Better targets are straight white men with money. How does that work, you ask? Like this: SWMwM has something, folks talk about it, then they want it. This way they can say, “Look SWMwM! I got it too! Looks like it’s not too good for me after all!”

    As for me, I still plan to running up on the first person I see with a pair and shouting, “Google Glass: Image search bestiality porn, open multiple tabs, safe search off!” and then run off again, cackling like a mad man. Childish? Probably. Funny as hell? Feck yeah!

  5. perhaps the unknown authors/internet placement people could be folks associated with the company that makes/sells the glasses? just a thought

  6. I never catch on to things like this until someone else points it out. I wonder if this is Google trying to start a buzz happening?

  7. Isn’t it odd, going viral sounds as if we are spreading disease. Google glasses? What is this? Why would I want them?

    I think I will look forward to you teaching me about virus’s

  8. Okay, I had to google them to find out what they are, and I really don’t see me needing them any time soon. Being as technologically backward as I am, I haven’t even got a smart phone yet!

  9. You’d think in San Francisco, being in Silicon Valley’s backyard, I would see white men wearing these stupid things everywhere. But the only person I have ever seen sporting this ridiculous contraption was an Asian woman. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  10. I’m always behind on all of the viral stuffs….but, this week I really liked the Charles Ramsey interview….concerning the kidnapped girls in Ohio. It’s nice to see that they’re all safe…but that interview was pretty great.

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