Our society is obsessed with the Internet and all of the different fads that come along with it. Most recently, the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style videos went viral; our school even made our own version of the Harlem Shake last month.
But when you think about viral videos of the past, how many can you actually remember? Once you watch a viral video, do you ever go back and watch it a few months later?
The lifespan of a viral video is a short one—most only last a few weeks, and then disappear into the Internet abyss.
What does this say about our society? Technology has made our attentions difficult to grasp and even more difficult to keep hold of for any long period of time. We are completely enthralled with one video and then we move on in the blink of an eye.
How many of you have looked up a video on YouTube, saw that it was about nine minutes long, and decided not to watch it because it was too long, or started watching it and got bored halfway through? We are a society that is easily distracted and easily amused by something short and quick—until we can find something better.
When we try to multitask on the Internet, all we really seem to end up doing is opening up a bunch of tabs. We just move from one thing to the next and we don’t actually end up getting anything done at all.
What does this have to do with viral videos? This is where viral video crazes stem from. Someone—who probably should be doing something else—finds a silly video and shows it to all his or her friends, who then show it to their friends, and so on. When everyone has seen the video, it has reached viral status, and when it can’t go any further, the craze dies down and the people move on to the next one. It’s an endless cycle.
Is there any real harm in viral videos? Probably not. But what’s the point in getting so obsessed with these videos for a blink in time if we’re going to forget about them just as quick?