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Doing What it Takes to Go Viral: Has this culture gotten too far?

Doing What it Takes to Go Viral: Has this culture gotten too far?
on August, 27 2014
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Image credit: Frisky and Mannish promoting the Cabariot viral video, 2012 taken by Charleynathan under Public Domain.

Image credit: Frisky and Mannish promoting the Cabariot viral video, 2012 taken by Charleynathan under Public Domain.

With the popularity of social media sites, everyone now has a platform to express himself or herself and say his or her thoughts out loud online. You can go to Facebook and post an update about yourself or just random thoughts about your daily life. You may also post your photo via Instagram and let everyone know how happy or exciting your activities have been. Recently, video blogs have also become more popular as they combine the in-depth analysis in blogging and seeing things in motion.

Some posts are just meant to be shared with close friends and relatives. However, there are certain posts that go viral because of their content. When something goes viral online, it means that it has been shared to thousands or even millions of people and it is continuously being discussed by netizens. In fact, Twitter has a way of determining what topic or subject has become viral by releasing a list of what has gone trending over a certain period of the day.

Back then, there were only a few videos or posts that went viral. In fact, only celebrities have the ability to make something go viral, as people are already following their every move to begin with. However, these days, just about anything can go viral, and ordinary people can even be instant celebrities in just an hour.

The Advantages of Going Viral

For people who are campaigning for a cause, going viral online is definitely a good thing. It allows them to reach more people and raise awareness. Therefore, campaigns related to animal rights, environmental protection and domestic violence have succeeded in one way or another. For instance, the ALS ice bucket challenge that has gone viral recently has raised thousands of dollars for ALS patients. There are some political decisions that have been affected due to the reactions of people online. In democratic societies that do not necessarily practice the essence of democracy, having another platform to voice themselves out, is definitely a good thing for the people.

How This Culture is Bringing the Society Down

Though going viral has brought lots of positive effects, it has now started to misshape the society. It has given rise to the increase in the desire for being the center of attention or rising above the crowd. Young people have become more addicted on finding ways for them to be talked about by others. They keep on ranting online. They post controversial photos or even do indecent acts. There are also those who bring up their fights online so that everyone will see them as “popular.” There are even those who have gone as far as posting their “suicide” attempt photos online along with other disgusting photos. Some people have created videos where they intentionally hurt themselves just to gain attention or to show that they can survive difficult challenges.

The bigger question is – where will this culture bring all of us? What kind of youth are we trying to shape? We want a society where everyone works on more relevant things rather than just futile attempts to be popular. We want people to work and extend help without expecting something in return. We want to instill the idea that in doing something, no matter how small or big, it does not have to be known by others. These values are gradually lost because of everyone’s desire to be the center of attention. Things have really gotten far and we can only expect the worse to happen in the future.

AUTHOR
Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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