It may only have been a year or less since a select group of people were pulled into the strange paradigm of "going viral," but in the craziness of 2016, that can feel like a lifetime.
BuzzFeed News tracked down a few of the people who went ~mega-vi~ in 2016 to find out what they're up to, what going viral has taught them, and to reflect on the year.
The people we talked to were involved in Twitter drama, boudoir shoots, random teen memes, humanity at its best, humanity at its worst, and dogs.
Without further ado, here are some quick snapshots of a life-after for people who went viral in 2016:
By 2016 standards, the "Damn Daniel" phenomenon already feels a decade old. Not much context is needed to explain how high school teens Daniel Lara and and Josh Holz gained nationwide fame overnight, but also...not much context can really explain it.
Post–Ellen Show, life for Lara and Holz has gone back to normal.
A few months ago, 25-year-old Kyle Harris was pulled into a messy love triangle/pregnancy hoax on Twitter. The drama was eventually aired out to millions of people online.
Harris, who's currently residing in Erie, Pennsylvania, said he still sees Phillips around town, but they've ceased communication entirely.
During the Rio Olympics, University of Texas student Sabryna Salazar made headlines around the world for matching with — and ghosting on — Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling on Tinder. Schooling had just beaten Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly race.
Salazar told BuzzFeed News that she's still on Tinder today, but has not heard from Schooling since her story went viral. She has, however, learned a valuable lesson about cyberbullying. "People are [quick] to criticize and make assumptions about someone’s character," she said.
A lot of you may remember, and still feel the impacts of, Yana Mazurkevich’s powerful photo series that depicted sexual assault to raise awareness.
Almost immediately, Mazurkevich received an outpouring of heartfelt "thank you" messages from around the world. She said the most insane and unexpected effect of her photos going viral was overhearing her name among incoming freshmen tour groups on campus.
In September, photographer Lindsay Coulter captured photos of Ibrahim Halil Dudu, a recent Syrian refugee to Canada, helping to fix a broken zipper for a bride. Dudu didn't know the bride, but being a tailor, he stepped in to help.
Coulter told BuzzFeed News Dudu would like to maintain a more private life, but she's kept in contact with him and said he's adjusted well to life in Canada.
Another set of photos that had its own, erm, influence this year was the boudoir shoot that had Harry Potter fans dropping their homework, groceries, and jaws.
Since the photo shoot went mega-viral, Howell said he's not only gotten more modeling work, but his messages are also filled with...other unsolicited requests and photos.
In early May, Spencer and Whitney Blake helped people laugh at what is otherwise a painful process in parenthood. The Blakes coordinated a photo shoot to "announce" their infertility.
Spencer told BuzzFeed News the media coverage helped them start conversations with other parents going through infertility, which can feel like a lonely experience for couples.
Many people around the world fell in love with a woman named Karishma Walia this year. She swiftly called off an arranged marriage to a New Delhi man after he pressured her to get rid of her dog.
Walia recently told BuzzFeed News that she still has no interest in maintaining any contact or relationship with her former husband-to-be.
Note: We were not able to reach out to everyone, and not everyone was able to respond in time, but we'll revise the update as we hear back.
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at email@example.com.
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