The video called “High Five for First Kiss” was created by 24-year-old Harmony Smith, from Upland, California who filmed her 5-year-old son, Elliott, sharing his first kiss with their 6-year-old next-door neighbour Bowie.
She spent last Wednesday evening doing what she typically does when she has ‘free’ time: editing videos of her son Elliott to share with family and friends. After sending a link to the latest YouTube video, “High Five for First Kiss,” to Bowie’s mother and a few friends, she thought little more about it.
She woke up Thursday morning to a text message from a friend telling her that the video had been viewed overnight several hundred times and had been posted to the social news site, Reddit. “I’m calling it right now,” the message said. “It’s going to go viral.”
Five days later the video has garnered more than 4.8 million views. Even pop star Justin Bieber tweeted it, and popular news sites like The Huffington Post and CBS News posted it too. “People are saying it’s the next ‘Charlie Bit My Finger,'” said Smith, referring to the 2007 YouTube clip that went viral and has more than 300 million views.
Smith describes her son, who will begin kindergarten in September, as a “showman” who loves to sing and dance. Even before the video went viral, Smith had considered getting him an agent. “He loves attention,” she said.
The video has attracted more than 40,000 comments and a somewhat mixed reaction, with posts ranging from “greatest clip ever” to “sick”.
Smith did not expect the two kids to kiss, and her voice can be heard in the video telling Elliott “no more” after they first plant one on each other. “Even though it was cute, and even though it was innocent,” she said, “I didn’t feel like it was appropriate as a parent to encourage it.”
She said that she’s not against affection, “but children need to know when it’s appropriate.” Smith said she’s stopped reading the comments because there are so many now but she receives between 50-100 messages each day about how the video has affected someone’s life.
“I do appreciate when people go out of their way to tell me how it changed their life,” she said, adding that she’s saving the messages to show Elliott when he’s older. “I thought it was just a cute video. I had no idea it was changing people’s lives and views.”
One message, from a 20-year old college student, has stuck with her. “Please pass along my thanks,” the note said. “Tell them to never stop loving. It’s people like them that save the world.” [via The Telegraph (UK) and The Huffington Post]