Do you know Fred?
If you do, you are under the age of 12. Welcome, Children of the Internet!
If you don’t, you’re like me. Old and out of it and—according to my 10- and 12-year-old nieces, CD and HD—hopelessly uncool, unhip, and uninformed.
At a recent family gathering, CD and HD asked me if I knew Fred. When I answered that, no, I’d never heard of Fred—unless they meant Fred Flintstone—there ensued much eye-rolling and hair-flinging. Boy, these nieces don’t remind me of anyone.
There was a mad stampede to the computer, where CD opened up YouTube, and showed me Fred.
Here’s a taste. And don’t say I didn’t warn you (because I didn’t).
Sooo, yeah. That’s Fred. A YouTube sensation, apparently. He has his own Wikipedia page and is the first of 10 entries for “Fred” on Urban Dictionary. Children of the Internet, please don’t read #10. I have to say, it kind of bugs me that I’d never heard of Fred. I consider myself to be up on all the YouTube trends. I’ve seen the cat eating corn, the “Hey, Sarah Palin” duet, and OK Go on treadmills. I know all about Winston, Chocolate Rain, and the Evolution of Dance. If you’ve forwarded me something from JibJab, SNL, The Daily Show . . . I’ve seen it.
But Fred had slipped by me somehow. And this made me strangely fearful.
I am afraid of the power of YouTube on our young youth. The same day of the Fred Incident, my 9-year-old nephew asked my brother-in-law whom he’s voting for.
“Noooo! You can’t vote for him! He hates America!”
“Where’d you hear that?”
There are even some adults under the thrall of YouTube’s influence. Remember when I filmed my thyroid biopsy? I recently saw the same technician for a routine ultrasound. She remembered me and the video session. When I told her it was on YouTube (click with caution), she practically threw up in amazement.
“It’s on YOUTUBE????!!!”
It’s like I told her I’d submitted my shaky, handheld-camera video of a routine medical procedure to the Sundance Film Festival where it was currently being screened to an international audience. Well, in a way, it is. That video has received over 54,000 views. Where’s my damn Oscar?
Anyway, after three or four ear-splitting Fred videos, I showed my media-savvy nieces my videos of Gus and Prudence. They were agog to discover that their decrepit aunt had somehow managed to get videos onto the sacred YouTube.
“How did you do that, Aunt JD?”
Aunt JD ain’t talking. We old folks need to keep a few secrets from the Children of the Internet.
So? What do you think of Fred? Got any other YouTube faves? See if you can stump Aunt JD.