Going viral can save lives

Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

While it’s no surprise to the modern world that fame can come from a million likes on the Internet, new methods of making money off the free-time of others keep popping up every time I turn on my computer. At first I thought, “Cool, people are making money sitting on their butts,” but then as I did some research, I learned about the world of good that these easy-money-makers are doing with their fame.

Though many blue-collar workers might object to the idea of making thousands off of filming themselves at home, I’m definitely an advocate for fast fame. If you can make money doing what you love to do, why not? More power to them. But it isn’t the fact that these viral celebrities are making money that makes me a supporter. It’s what these celebrities have chosen to do with it.

Going viral has been a part of getting noticed and making money for a long time. Televisions shows like “America’s Funniest Videos” or “Ridiculousness” continue to remain family favorites as we laugh at and enjoy what others have captured on film. So why not continue to milk the industry while it’s hot?

Modern technology just makes things even easier for people’s personal experiences to make them the “stars” of our random Internet scrolling. Apps like Vine, SnapChat, Instagram and Tumblr feature videos and photographs that make even the average-joe with no ego but a big heart, a familiar face.

One of the biggest sources of finding the next viral hit is the world renowned and highly trafficked YouTube. YouTube, as a massive video sharing site, boasts thousands of videos ranging from blogs, instructions, music, television, movie clips and more and is now offering yet another way for creative minds to make some money filming themselves by giving gamers the chance to strut their stuff.

Along with many of the other technological and social advances of the decade, video gamers are seeing new possibilities when it comes to becoming rich and famous. With gaming as a hobby on the rise, more viewers wanna see the next big thing to play, but don’t want the risk of buying boring material.

YouTube user PewDiePie, or Swedish 24 year-old Felix Kjellberg, is one gamer who took his videos to an unbelievable level and in doing so has been able to influence many lives for the better. It is gamers like him that are really representing the rest of us in a good way.

As a gaming “geek” myself, I love watching Pewds as he struggles through games ranging from action, comedy, to his specialty, horror. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit admiring his skills and humor on YouTube as he plays both classics and new games. Being a Bro, or subscriber to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel, I got to get to know Kjellberg through his videos, or so I thought. After searching a little more about him on the net, I found he’s done so much more than I’d ever imagined.

After of the the top most viewed and liked channel on YouTube, PewDie’s fame has earns him more than 4 million dollars a year and the title of Most Popular Gaming Web Star in the 2014 Teen Choice Awards. Ridiculous, right? Wrong. Kjellberg doesn’t just hog the money he’s made by from fame, he gives it to leading charities and foundations.

In order to celebrate 25 million subscribers to his channel, PewDiePie asked that his ‘Bro Army’ donate to the Save the Children program. Because of his #BrosSavetheChildren fundraiser, he was able to donate more than $630,000. Way to go, Pewds.

So, to anyone who says sitting on their butt and playing video games won’t pay the bills, I say there isn’t a more profitable way to spend your time. By simply being himself and doing what he loves, PewDiePie’s viral fame has enabled him to do great things.