On January 4th, Instagram user @world_record_egg posted a picture of a simple egg with the goal of dethroning makeup mogul and reality personality Kylie Jenner’s instagram post as the “Most Liked Photo on Instagram.” The caption was a simple challenge, one that Instagram users fully embraced: “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this 🙌 #LikeTheEgg #EggSoldiers #EggGang.” Almost immediately, this egg flooded the collective attention of social media users, prompting people to share the egg on their stories and encourage friends to help @world_record_egg reach their goal. Less than ten days later, the #EggGang had prevailed, overthrowing the former Instagram queen. As of today, the World Record Egg has over 52 million likes.
Knowing the culture of social media, one would expect the egg to fade into the shadows, just as the starter pack trend fizzled out and slime videos have begun to decline. However, @world_record_egg did not stop after achieving their original goal. In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the account posted three mysterious photos of the beloved egg, appearing more and more cracked in each one, eventually culminating in a picture of the egg with football laces on it, captioned “The wait is over 😅 All will be revealed this Sunday following the Super Bowl 👀 Watch it first, only on @hulu. #EggGang #WeGotThis #TalkingEgg.” So the simple egg (with a lot of likes) now had a partnership with Hulu and the Super Bowl? Most people expected some sort of advertisement thanking Instagram users for helping @world_record_egg to achieve their goal, but what happened instead was much more impressive.
During the Super Bowl, among boring commercials and an even more boring game (Geaux Saints), the egg made an appearance. It was cracked just like in the previous Instagram posts, but this time had a cute, animated smiley face, giving the egg a personality. As the ad goes on, words above the egg explain that it has recently started to “crack” under the pressures of social media. The egg then encourages others who are struggling to talk to someone and urges them to visit a website. The site itself is a simple white page with #TalkingEgg at the top of the page. Maybe it’s the fact that the text is all centered, or because it’s all in Comic Sans, or maybe it’s the lack of any interesting visuals, but at first glance it appears akin to a GoogleSite that a 5th grader put together in two minutes for a school project. Despite its simple appearance, the site has a list of mental health resources for 45 countries and regions, as well as worldwide resources.
Maybe @world_record_egg can be a wake up call. In our current technology-fueled age, social media can become a stressor for many. Oftentimes, adolescents develop a skewed or damaged sense of self because they cannot get as many likes or followers as Instagram influencers such as Kylie Jenner, whose post began this ordeal. Perhaps this egg is a step in the right direction. A step towards destigmatizing mental health and showing social media users young and old that mental health matters. Resources are available to assist people with their mental health struggles and to make sure that they do not crack under the pressure like everybody’s favorite egg.