Remember the Viral ‘Listen Linda’ Video? Here’s the Mother-Son Duo a Decade Later
Listen to me, listen to me! Listen, Linda! If you recognize the quote, then you’d be glad to know that Matthew Contreras is growing and finally did get that cupcake!
In the popular video from 2014 titled “My 3 year old must argue and debate everything,” we see a spirited and young Matthew trying to convince his mother to let him eat a cupcake before dinner. It didn’t take long for this clip to take the world by storm!
“On day two or three of the video being posted up, it had around 5,000 views,” Linda Beltran told mitú, “I quickly realized that this video had reached more than our family and friends and it had gotten beyond the realm of whom we knew.” To this day, the clip “Listen Linda” has amassed approximately 34 million views and more than 300 thousand likes!
However, going viral was not on the family’s radar.
San Jose-based mother Linda Beltran started documenting her children growing up for family reasons. On one hand, she used social media to keep her family in touch with her sons. Like many Latino households, she had family back in Zacatecas, Mexico whom she wanted to update and social media allowed her to do this. On the other hand, she did this so the children had something to look back to as they continued growing up.
“I never imagined we’d go viral. Back when we went viral, that was unheard of,“ she remembers. “It was literally your friends and family reposting and resharing these type of clips. We were not really ready for what followed.”
However, there was also a down-side to this newfound popularity.
“I remember that we’d go out and the kids would be trying to have fun, but we’d get interrupted. He even remembers a time when we were out eating and people were asking for a picture and to say ‘Listen Linda,’” the mother recalls. “So I had to start posting less to keep our little life private. People usually tell me that I post a lot about our life, but since then I’ve had to be very particular with what details I put out there.”
In 2023, the family feels like things have slowed down since virality. “I prefer it like this,” Matthew chimed in. Linda describes Matthew as quiet and someone who enjoys low-key environments, but she also recognizes that he enjoys the space and time to pursue his interests, such as gaming.
But he doesn’t discount a return to our phone screens. “It’s funny he says he prefers the private life, but he’s always talking about starting a Twitch or is getting on TikTok,” Linda quips.
Throughout the experience, Linda emphasizes the good.
“For the most part, it’s been a very positive experience. It’s fun to start telling people that you’re the ‘Listen Linda,” she reflects. “We get different messages of how we’ve impacted different people at their lowest time and that has been a true blessing.”
She expresses that the viral moment has also allowed their dialogue and relationship to grow.
“When I look back at the video “Listen Linda”, I think that he’s actually providing good dialogue about why he thinks he should have a cupcake,“ Beltran continues. “And to this day he can sit there and say ‘let me give you my point of view’ and we can go from there.”