Besides political news and related quips, chances are your timelines are strewn with this now-famous reaction GIF of a guy blinking incredulously. People have started to call it some variation of the "White Guy Blinking Meme."
As pervasive as the GIF now is, a lot of people still don't know who they're GIFing in their jokes. No, it's not actor Michael C. Hall, but the man himself, Drew Scanlon, told BuzzFeed News he does get the comparison from time to time. He thinks the phenomenon is quite strange and hilarious.
Scanlon is a San Fransisco native who's been working as a video editor for the gaming reviews and news website Giant Bomb for eight years now. That's where the meme began.
In 2013, editor-in-chief Jeff Gerstmann was playing an action-adventure game that required players to grow their own crops. Gerstmann said, "I've been doing some farming with my hoe." In the top left-hand corner, Scanlon is seen momentarily caught off guard and reacting to that line.
Scanlon suspected that a viewer turned his expression into a GIF pretty soon after, but it wasn't until earlier this month (four years later) that he first saw himself in joke tweets.
It was this "biology class" tweet that really planted Scanlon's ~mainstream~ internet fame. It's still his personal favorite to this day, he said.
He said it wasn't until he saw former NFL star Terrell Owens using his expression for a tweet that he really understood the magnitude of his own meme.
Scanlon said he's not been recognized in public (other than by longtime gamer fans who've been watching his videos) but he's been getting a kick out of seeing who strangers online think he is. "One lady thought I was from The Bachelor," he said, laughing.
"I get the most kick out of it when I see the audience see their mom post it on Facebook," he added.
Scanlon also joked that the multitude of parody "White Guy Blinking" accounts have more followers than he does.
Oh, and as far as the unofficial "White Guy Blinking" name, Scanlon told BuzzFeed News he doesn't have a name for the meme himself, but he has no issue with that given name. "I'm a very white person," he said.
"I think we need more positivity on the internet these days."
Scanlon said he is hoping that his new meme fame will raise awareness of his employer, Giant Bomb. "I work with very talented and hard-working dudes," he said.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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