Friday, March 9, 2012

3 Observations about the Internet Movements/Crazes

In light of the Kony 2012 craze, I have been thinking about how the internet treats "movements", and how it can be used to push an agenda. I've noticed three different traits that are consistent between varies movements, fads, and causes that take the internet by storm.

1. Can only push one major subject at a time.

Much like the users that frequent the web, the internet itself seems to have limited attention, only able to focus on one craze at a time. Currently, it's impossible to spend any time on a major social media/bookmarking site without seeing Kony 2012 mentioned. Under this environment I highly doubt something else could go as viral at the same time. For example if Kony 2012 and SOPA were both issues that came to light at the exact same time, one of them would win out and become the buzz of the internet, while the other would not see much exposure. The one that did not see as much exposure would likely either fad away or have to wait until the current buzz dies down to become wide spread.

2. The movement  doesn't last long.

The crazes fueled by the internet can last from a few days (arrow to the knee) to close to a month (the SOPA/PIPA movement) and have a short lull in between them. Very few (none come to mind) last much longer than a month. Most movements are much shorter, usually a week or so before critics start to bring the craze down, or people just simply get bored of it. As of writing this, the "critic" phase is just beginning for the Kony 2012 craze.

3. The internet has no moral preference.

From righteous causes such as Kony 2012, to the despicable life ruining events events surrounding Jessi Slaughter and her father, to the completely trivial craze of Jessica Blacks "Friday" song, the internet has no preferred moral leaning. Is this because people have no preferred moral leaning? No, I think it's much more complicated than that, but at its core probably has to do more with what kind of content goes viral rather than people focusing on any type of moral standard.

I know this is a little different from the usual Darth Vader dance offs and Kick-Butt fish lists of this site, but we all need to be serious once and a while!


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