What You Don't Know About Selfie Kid

What do you know about Selfie Kid?

Lady Gaga jumped off the roof in Houston. Katy Perry danced with the Left Shark who had a mind of its own in Arizona. So whatever your thoughts might be about Justin Timberlake's 2018 Super Bowl halftime show in Minneapolis, we can all agree that the best part was watching another instant meme being created right before our eyes. 

The internet-dubbed "Selfie Kid," 13-year-old Ryan McKenna, shot to viral fame by simply holding his phone. But is there more to this young Super Bowl fan than his ability to take awkward selfies? Here's what you may not know about our newest online phenomenon, the Selfie Kid. 

Mystery solved

We already know what you're thinking, so we'll get that out of the way now. Did Selfie Kid even know with whom he was taking a selfie? Had he ever heard "Can't Stop the Feeling," before? Yes and yes. 

"I'm a big fan of [Justin Timberlake] and I know all his songs. I listen to his stuff all the time," he told New York Magazine when asked if all the memes were correct in suggesting he had no clue. "I definitely know the words. That's my favorite song of his." 

Take that, internet conspiracy theorists. Timberlake isn't just for soccer moms anymore. The kids love him, too.

The selfie almost didn't happen

So what did happen when he tried to snap that photo? Telling the Pioneer Press he thought he'd "never get this opportunity again," McKenna says he "just went for [the selfie]" when Timberlake stopped near him during the performance. 

But leave it to JT to have some sort of malfunction happen during his Super Bowl halftime performance. Thankfully, it wasn't of the wardrobe variety, but it was a common problem for iPhone users everywhere — Ryan's phone went dead right before he first tried to snap the selfie of the year. Per ABC News, McKenna explained, "at first I tried to get a selfie with him, and my phone died, and then it turned back on." Must be that new iOS update. It'll get you every time. 

Fortunately, the phone sprang back to life and gave McKenna a second chance at internet eternity.

More phone issues made him a meme

While the rest of the crowd danced, McKenna looked like he'd seemingly be unable to pick the former 'NSYNC member out of a police lineup. To the millions watching, the soon-to-be viral sensation appeared bored and more interested in his phone than standing next to the halftime headliner. Turns out, he was still trying to deal with his phone's aforementioned technical difficulties. 

"So I had a video going, and my phone shut off," he told the crew at Good Morning America. "That's why I was on my phone, and I love him, 'cause he's like my favorite singer and I had to get the selfie with him."

This has to go down as the worst iPhone commercial of all time. Maybe it's time to switch to Android, young fella.

School legend

If you were wondering whether taking a selfie with Timberlake is as cool to middle schoolers today as it was in 2003, wonder no more. Derby Academy, the private school the seventh-grader attends in Hingham, Mass., gave McKenna a shout out on its official Instagram with the caption, "Did this just happen? Is this real life?"

Oh, it happened. And if McKenna doesn't ask someone to dance at the next school formal during a Timberlake song, that'll be a missed opportunity. 

"All my friends have been texting me and stuff. It's insane," he told the Pioneer Press. "I've gotten so many notifications. I've got like 36 Snapchats, like 21 DMs, and like 150 follower requests on Instagram." 

Better keep that charger handy for the foreseeable future, dude. 

He was free publicity

You might've noticed that Mckenna was wearing a Sunday River sweatshirt during his moment in the spotlight. Turns out the company did, too. Nick Lambert, the Marketing VP of the Maine ski resort, had an understandable two-word reaction when seeing his gear front and center at the Super Bowl — "Holy s***." 

Realizing the company couldn't buy this type of publicity, Lambert tried to repay Mckenna the best he could by offering him a free season pass to the resort. 

"Seriously. Someone send in my direction," Lambert tweeted 20. "Maybe after the game. He has good seats."

He's a Patriots fan

Although he'll never forget the halftime show, let's not forget that McKenna was at the Super Bowl to watch a football game featuring his favorite team, the New England Patriots. Was the Massachusetts resident bummed after his team's 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles? 

"I was a little disappointed," he told New York Magazine. 

Considering he's seen the Patriots hoist the Lombardi trophy multiple times, we shouldn't feel too bad for him. He's a Super Bowl legend himself now. "It was already crazy to be at the Super Bowl in the first place," he told the Pioneer Press. "Then all of a sudden I'm up on the jumbotron and everyone is talking about me. I can't believe it."

Television came calling

Not too many people go to the Super Bowl one night then get invited to talk shows on morning television the next day. Needless to say, McKenna was probably the only Patriots fan who had a great Monday. 

Both Today and Good Morning America asked him about his legendary selfie – and he got to miss a day of school. It really can't get much better than that for a seventh-grader, unless perhaps Oprah decides to give him a new phone. Then again, she'll have to do better than that, because another notorious talk show gift-giver already got to him first.

So did Ellen, of course

Like the "Chicken Nugget Kid" and the "Damn, Daniel" kids before him, "Selfie Kid" eventually made it to where all viral memes seem contractually obligated to end up: on Ellen. The dancing daytime talk queen did her usual thing with McKenna: brought him out to talk about how his life changed instantly; surprised him with a celebrity cameo (JT, duh); and showered him with gifts, in this case Timberlake concert tickets with backstage passes, as well as a sweet Patriots VIP package, too.

One interesting factoid that came out of the interview was that McKenna claimed he actually shoved his way through the crowd to get to Timberlake, which again pours cold water all over the meme-generating notion that he didn't know who the "Sexy Back" singer even was.

Throughout the interview, McKenna was so excited he welled with tears up a few times. So did his dad, which we're pretty sure had a lot to do with those NFL field passes, but it was super sweet nonetheless. Also, Timberlake promised to take another selfie with McKenna when they properly meet for the first time backstage at his TD Gardens show in Boston, so mark your calendars for early April 2018 and what will surely be another viral moment.   

Showbiz aspirations?

In an Instagram video dated Feb. 9, 2018, McKenna teased his upcoming Ellen appearance and reassured all 213,000 (and counting) of his brand new followers that they were now tuned into the real Selfie Kid Instagram account. Apparently a bunch of fakes have popped up since McKenna became the accidental obsession of Super Bowl LII.

It's also worth noting that McKenna's official Instagram account, @ryantheselfiekid, now has a link to what appears to be an official homepage as well. With links to freshly launched Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat accounts, McKenna looks to be setting up permanent shop on the internet. Not to mention, he recently tweeted the above photo of himself chilling in Hollywood with notorious internet personality Jake Paul. Oh boy. Here's hoping "Selfie Kid" decides to use his viral fame for good, however maybe someone should sit him down for a how-not-to-do-what-the-Paul-brothers-did tutorial? 

Nah, "Selfie Kid" needs to go on this journey alone. Good luck, young man!