Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Deepstream: Internet Challenges.

Posted by vene131 on February 28, 2017

Our group (Cameron Brooks, Kate Milner, and Venesa Hill) all met up during the week to try and think of what could we possibly do to come up with a good topic for the Deepstream project. So with all of our creative minds we decided that we could elaborate on spreadability in the case of video challenge trends like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Mannequin Challenge, and even go back as far as Planking. The fact of the matter is that these challenge are not just for ordinary people, but famous people like celebrities and politicians have even began to participate in the trendy challenges. The spreading of these challenges is one way that people have sort of bonded together.

One of the first Internet challenge we covered in our Deepstream was Planking. Planking was known at first as something that was for people who exercised. Eventually it became this fad where people would mimic a wood plank in various locations and have pictures of them doing it posted to social media. The first example of this was in 2007 where a friend group at the time decided to make a Facebook group dedicated to pictures of people planking. It spread like wildfire after that, and became one of the first major challenge memes that people participated in worldwide.

Following planking, there was another internet fad called the Harlem Shake. It started in 2013 by a YouTube personality and his friends dancing ridiculously to the song Harlem Shake by Baauer. The Harlem Shake was one of the first major challenges where celebrities got heavily involved. Casts for TV shows and movies would do Harlem Shake videos and upload them as a form of publicity.

After the Harlem Shake there was what many consider to be the largest challenge ever, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS Foundation prompted people to pour buckets over their heads full of ice water as a way to spread the need for donations to the ALS fund to help those who suffer from it during the summer of 2014. Anyone you can think of got involved, and there probably isn’t a person alive who doesn’t know about the Ice Bucket Challenge. I mean, Obama did the Ice Bucket Challenge. Obama. How cool is that? So obviously it spread everywhere and raised well over $100 million.

Another significant challenge would be the 22 Pushups Challenge. Although not as widespread as the Ice Bucket Challenge, it still gained popularity. Basically people were encouraged to do 22 pushups as a way to spread awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day.

Now the most recent challenge would be the Mannequin Challenge. One of the few challenges on our list that literally has no good reasoning behind it except some high schoolers thought it would be funny. I think this is a great example of how internet challenge started off being things that helped promote something, but now they have just become something for people to do as a way to connect with one another. It’s not always about helping promote a great cause, but sometimes it is just something funny to do with your friends or political team (looking at you, Hillary). The spreading of these challenges is significant to popular culture because they are a way for people to connect with one another through something that can seem almost insignificant.

Final Stream: http://deepstream.tv/watch/pop201group/pop-201-project-RnTm5AB7

Note: We placed all our videos into one stream. To navigate through them, hit the square to see arrow keys that will lead you through what’s included.


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