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#LukeBrooks, Janoskians and another glimpse into the baffling world of internet fame

Steve Anderson
Janoskians 300x165 #LukeBrooks, Janoskians and another glimpse into the baffling world of internet fame

(YOUTUBE)

You know how the old adage goes, #anotherdayanotherhashtag.

This morning on Twitter, alongside other UK trending topics, including the slightly ironic pairing  “World Goth Day” and “#youknowthesunisshiningwhen“, emerged a name and the duo of hashtags “#FollowMeLukeBrooks” and “#LukeBrooksFollowMe“. A quick glimpse at worldwide trends showed the same.

[For those who want a quick lesson in social media terminology, a hashtag is a word, or group of words, preceded by a hash symbol, added to a Twitter post (or tweet) in order to group tweets on a particular topic together]

So on seeing these tags, I was faced with the question “Who is Luke Brooks?” and clicked away in hope of finding the answer, as I can assume many other relatively sane Twitter users did too. Perhaps he was an inspirational activist, fighting oppression in the most totalitarian of states, or maybe a teenage cancer sufferer, battling against the odds to fight a disease so unfairly handed to him?

But for those of us who know the nature of the internet, I think we all knew that it was unlikely that he’d be either of those.

Instead, after a little investigating, I found him to be one-fifth of the Australian collective Janoskians, a group of antipodean One Direction-alikes, who make ‘fail vids’ for YouTube while adopting probably the least memorable  acronym in the history of the English language to stand for their full title, Just Another Name of Silly Kids in Another Nation.

Luke Brooks, who currently has over 85,000 followers on Twitter, leads his prepubescent troop of five into hilarious situations where the group get up to all kinds of hi-jinx. Their repertoire includes asking passers by for directions to places that don’t exist and making cat noises on commuter trains, all the time interspersed with footage of them intermittently pulling up their low-slung chinos and adjusting their reversed Snapback  baseball caps over their perfectly unkempt hair (ooh edgy).

The aforementioned ‘Awkward Train Situations’ video, which sits proudly atop of their YouTube page, currently has almost 2 million views, and today’s Twitter-bothering will surely only increase this. Its content sits  somewhere uncomfortably between a Justin Bieber video (they even crack open one of his numbers while doing pull-ups on the train’s safety rails; it’s comedy gold) and the now all too common grainy footage of racist outbursts on London’s transport network.

I shan’t hark on about the inconsideration of these boys to their fellow train passengers, or the bullying tactics employed when tormenting travellers minding their own business. My main gripe is, the Janoskians just aren’t funny.

They seem to be another example of the ‘Bieber Generation’ – boys with butter-wouldn’t-melt smiles and twinkly eyes, milking off the accessibility of social media and impressionability of teenage girls, in order to make themselves feel even better about themselves. I don’t particularly blame them; hell, if I were ten years younger I’d probably be trying to do the same.

But it really does make for a depressing picture of the internet if this is where the most traffic is going. Do people really have the attitude of “Why use the near-infinite pool of free information out there on the world wide web for some kind of greater good, when we could watch a group of obnoxious pretty boys pissing people off on their way home from work?”?

And do we really want Luke Brooks to follow us? I get annoyed as it is on public transport, without some Topman(or Australian equivalent)-clad silky-faced bogan-in-training attempting to fall asleep on my lap. I can’t help but sympathise with one inebriated passenger politely asking one of the youngsters whether they’d like him to stab them with his “f***ing beer can”.

I’m aware that by writing this I’m only contributing to the vast flow of e-effluence washing its way around the web, but if it refreshingly breaks up tweets such as…

It’s not my b’day nor do I have anything cool to say, but I still love you :) Please follow/tweet me? @luke_brooks #LukeBrooksFollowMe <3 7” (Courtesy of @souux2)”

and

@luke_brooks my biggest dream is to be followed by you and the other janoskian guys ! but my dreams never come true :( #LukeBrooksFollowMe” (@CaolinePaulsen)

… from the Twitter feed for #LukeBrooksFollowMe (I’ll obviously be tweeting this page with this hashtag) with a nice big blob of cynicism, I’m sure it won’t do @Luke_Brooks’ ego any harm.

It may even fill my Twitter inbox with enough hate mail from angry Australian pre-teens to keep me busy all afternoon.

And hopefully, it might make him realise what an absolute idiot he looks in that hat, too.

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