Where’s Matt??

Perhaps unlike many of you out there, it was just a few days
ago that I finally heard about this guy named Matt who has managed to
turn a simple, rather silly dance into one of the most popular videos on the Web.
That simple dance has taken Matt to some of the most exciting places around the
world and propelled him to a level of fame well above any he had ever known
before (you can find out more
about Matt and how he got to where he is today on his blog and in this Chicago Tribune article). That said,
as I sat watching his videos I couldn’t help but think of a few questions for
all of you out there in the blogosphere:

 Matt4
1. The obvious question: Have you seen it? 
(If not,
don’t fret. You can easily get caught up by going to wherethehellismatt.com and
clicking on the movie box in the center with the giant “play” sign)

2. Do you like it,
dislike it, or don’t care either way?
Would you vote for Matt to become the
next U.S. ambassador? (Everyone knows a little bit of dancing can
only help ease tense relations)

So…

3. WHY the immense
popularity???

Why
Matt? Is it that this guy is just goofy and funny to
watch?
(I’m almost positive
that this plays at least a part in explaining the popularity, being that my own
rather offbeat dance style seems to provide plenty of entertainment for those
around me.) Or is there something deeper, some sense of shared humanity in the
simple act of bringing people all over the world together to join in a silly
little dance?

It’s obvious that his videos have made an
impact on a number of individuals lives. I even read one viewer’s
comment that read, “My son died in Iraq 7 weeks ago, and this video allowed me to sleep through the night for the first
time. I was able to let go of my anger for just a few hours.”


And for all of you teachers out there with an interest in
conveying the importance of geographic knowledge, Matt’s videos might be a
great way to start off your school year with a spark of inspiration. You could turn this blog into a writing assignment, asking students for their
thoughts on the reasons behind his success.  You can also download Google Earth files from Matt’s website. And those are just a couple examples. If you
have other ideas, let us all know by posting a comment on this blog!

5 thoughts on “Where’s Matt??

  1. I too think Matt is a very special phenomenon. I’ve posted about him twice. And this is a blog which seeks to rarely say the same thing twice! I like the idea of starting the school year with Matt…

    Like

  2. Matt is popular for the same reason National Geographic is….he celebrates what is right with the world and inspires others! He does make you smile and all his videos focus on joy,travel and connecting. What is not to like?
    I actually like his first one best as they have gotten a lot slicker now that he has the financial backing to create and promote them.
    Viral videos do not happen by accident though, he was put on the front page of Youtube the moment that video was released. ANY video with that set up would do extremely well. Most never get that opportunity. Even when he made the first one, he got lots of support and much fewer videos were around, so timing and promotion is everything.
    We were so touched by Matt’s enthusiasm for the world’s people and beautiful sights that we decided to do a “take off” video when we set out on our open ended trip around the world as a family.


    We have lots of schools and homeschoolers following us and kids get excited about another child traveling the world. The places seem more real when they see a kid they know there having fun there.
    Anything that inspires others is a good thing. In todays world we can connect and collaborate together more easily than ever before with things like Youtube and blogs.
    It is a good thing! We all want to connect and feel the love and joy!

    Like

  3. Ruth,
    First off, what a great insight on Matt’s popularity. I have to say that I am in complete agreement. However, we should all remember that we don’t have to fly around the globe in order to do what he has done. There are opportunities to express ourselves right in our own neighborhoods and communities. For instance, yesterday I met up with a few friends at a local park here is Washington D.C. We had heard there was a great drum circle that plays there every Sunday afternoon. Individuals of every color, ethnicity, and gender came out. Some came to play, some to dance, some to watch. I was so inspired I made a makeshift drum out of a newspaper and a park bench. I did not know any of the others playing or dancing, but for that time, we were all one. It didn’t matter where we came from or what we do or have done in the past. The focus was human expression. And that, friends, is a beautiful thing. Thanks again for the comment.

    Like

  4. I have been a fan of Matt for years, and I love his dancing. It’s not about his style, but about the free-feeling way he expresses himself.
    To me, Matt became popular because he took something very simple and brought smiles to the faces of people around the world. He was able to do this without speaking a word. His wacky style allowed and encouraged others to join him regardless of their skin color, religion, philosophy or politics.
    Matt shows us that it is possible for everyone to make a positive difference in the world. Go Matt!

    Like

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