Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

What gives media it’s “stickiness”? Why does some media go viral while some doesn’t?

Posted by connorfrederick12 on January 25, 2017

Being someone who was always kept up with viral videos, and internet culture in general, I’ve always wondered why some things go viral, and why others don’t, even though they be generally alike one another. The section on Susan Boyle touched on this slightly but I thought I would go in depth about it.

The first viral video I remember seeing is the “Numa Numa Guy” video that went viral in the mid-late 2000s. It was just a middle-aged man sitting in front of a web cam, lip syncing and dancing a German pop song. At the time I watched it, I didn’t think anything of why it was funny. I just knew it was. But looking back at it now, I see that it was something completely different and off the wall. From the appearance of him, you wouldn’t really expect it.

Fast forward to 2017 and you have the year’s first big meme, the “How bow dah?” girl from an episode of Dr. Phil that originally aired over a half decade ago. Why is it just now blowing up? Presumably to the prevalence of Facebook and Twitter. Now that more people are seeing it through these social media outlets, people are seeing that it is something completely different and of the wall. Just like the “Numa Numa” video.

What makes something “sticky” is it being different, new, and contrasting popular culture. Thus turning it into popular culture. People try to replicate these things that have already went viral and their work doesn’t go viral, and won’t get as big, because it is something the people have already seen and are ready for the next internet fad. I see that as why some media goes viral and some doesn’t.


One Response to “What gives media it’s “stickiness”? Why does some media go viral while some doesn’t?”

  1. katemilner9 said

    It really is interesting how older videos can all of a sudden blow up. Even considering how easily they spread, there’s always the question of who saw it in the first place, and brought it back out into public light. I also like that you mention the bandwagon nature this culture creates, and how everyone tries to create their own variation of the same memes.

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