Dad's Twitter Wish for His Geography-Loving Son's Birthday Goes Viral
"Thought we'd get 50 to 100 replies. Obviously it blew up more than that."
Coronavirus may have us staying home and socially distanced from one another, but that didn’t stop one 12-year-old boy from sparking his own wanderlust and using the Internet to have a geography-themed birthday party.
While Brandon couldn’t have an in-person birthday party, his dad, Jody Smith, put out a simple request on Twitter to mark the occasion: “I can’t give him the party he deserves but Brandon loves geography. He would love it if you would RT or reply where you are so he can mark it on his map.”
Smith, a sports writer, added a photo with the tweet showing Brandon holding up a world map they drew, which they were hoping to fill with dots showing people’s locations.
"I had to think of something we could do. It's his last birthday before he's a teenager," Smith, from Texas, told Good Morning America. "Knowing his interest in maps, I figure reach out on Twitter. Thought we'd get 50 to 100 replies. Obviously it blew up more than that."
The post quickly went viral, accumulating 35,000 retweets and more than 128,000 likes with people writing in from as far away as Paris, India, New Zealand, and Norway. Dogs from Wales wished him a happy birthday with toy doughnuts, a sloth from Panama hung around with well wishes, and a sheep in Ireland was happy to wish him a good birthday.
Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants wished him happy birthday “From one Brandon to another… From Scottsdale, Arizona (ps...I love geography too).”
Even "Star Wars" icon Mark Hamill himself replied with: "Greetings from Malibu, California.”
For each post that came in, Brandon marked it on his map with a dot, slowly filling up the globe.
"He says [it's] all very exciting," Smith told GMA "People taking time to send pictures and videos has been really nice."