You are chanting inside your head. You can do it, you can do it, you can do it! Come on! You’ve just told your friend about this absolutely hilarious YouTube video, and she hasn’t seen it yet. So you’re trying to look it up on your phone. You opened the Safari app and entered the name of the video and hit go. Enter: the Little Blue Bar That Could.
The Little Blue Bar That Could is the blue color that fills– sorry, is supposed to fill– the address box at the top of your browser page. The box slowly fills with blue as your page loads, and once it’s completely loaded, it turns white again. But The Little Blue Bar That Could loads about a third of the way and then stops. You can almost see it pushing forward, trying to make it up the metaphorical incline to get to the top of the box and deliver your page.
But it just can’t make it.
This is normally where you start cheering The Little Blue Bar on in your head or out loud. “You can do it, I know you can! Come on, load!” You can see the doubt on your friend’s face, and you know what they are thinking because you’ve thought it a hundred times too: This video is not worth the wait. It’s not going to be that funny. Knowing your friend is thinking this, you want to show them the video even more, just to prove that it really is that funny.
Sadly, the Little Blue Bar That Could is not up for cresting its metaphorical hill right now, so it’s still stuck at one-third loaded. After two minutes more of staring, cheering and probably swearing at the Little Blue Bar That Could, you give up and put your phone away. You tell your friend to make sure to look up the video when they get home.
I know you’ve all been in this situation a dozen times; don’t lie. The Little Blue Bar That Could always shows up whenever you really need your page to load and there’s no other way to get whatever it is you want to show up. When you have another device an arm’s reach away, you always get the Little Blue Bar That Did.
The Little Blue Bar That Could’s family and friends include the Jumping Dots That Could, the Spinning Wheel That Could and the grandfather to them all, the Little Engine That Could, who started this whole darned thing.