'Blinking White Man' Has Officially Been Voted The Internet's Best GIF
You've probably missed this piece of vital news, but the Shorty Awards have just happened, and the winners are in!
The Shorty Awards are basically the Oscars of the social media world - categories at the awards include Emoji of the Year, Best Chatbot Award, and - of course - GIF of the Year.
This year the coveted GIF of the Year Award went to...wait for it...Blinking White Man!
You know the one, a white guy with fair hair blinking in disbelief and shaking his head slightly.
It's everywhere - you will have seen it a million times used in a whole load of different contexts, but often no context at all.
However, did you know that the face that launched a billion reacts belongs to Drew Scanlon?
Drew Scanlon was just a mere gaming channel contributor, little did he known that he was going to become one of the most recognisable faces on the internet.
Way back in the mists of time (2013) Scanlon was simply filming a video for the Giant Bomb gaming website when one of his co-presenters, Jeff Gerstmann, used the phrase 'spending time farming with my hoe'.
Obviously, that's a questionable thing to come out with, even when you're playing a game in which that could literally happen - think on, for God's sake.
Still, Scanlon took it all in his stride, smiled politely, shook his head and blinked. That was all it took.
It took until 2017 for the reaction to become really massive. A tweet about a biology class that used it has now been retweeted nearly 65k times. That got the ball rolling.
me: ill take a biology class, im smart enough for this just watch me
- INIRO :boar: (@eskbl) February 5, 2017
Since then it has been used to react to every major news story - every inch that humanity nudges closer to being obliterated in hellfire is met with Scanlon's mild amusement and disbelief. How very 2018.
Since then there have been social media accounts dedicated to the GIF. It has broken free of the gaming world that created it and entered into mainstream online culture, and recently Cosmopolitan named it the 'most relatable meme ever'.
Is that a thing to be proud of? Probably, I think.
But what is it like being the incredulous face of the internet? Scanlon is relatively at ease with his fame. He recently told the Guardian: "I like what memes can do for people. They're such fun, throwaway things I see. These memes have been generally positive.
"It's a little scary because there's always the danger someone could change it to something different.
"It's not like I've a say in what the Internet does with a Gif of my face. But I'm pleased to see people are enjoying it."
Good, because it is unlikely to go away.
Featured Image Credit: GIPHY