This week in class we talked about how easily it is for things to spread these days on social media. Our reading this week says, “Spreadability refers to the potential – both technical and cultural – for audiences to share content for their own purposes, sometimes with the permission of rights holders, sometimes against their wishes.”
Today we see that a lot on social media sites. For example, one of the major things that is happening on Facebook right now is the talk about this girl who was on an episode of Dr. Phil. There was a few things that she had said while on Dr. Phil’s show that spread like wildfire and eventually went viral. She became media famous, there were songs made from what she said on Facebook, there were a lot of memes made of her, and now it seems she’s making money from being so famous by being involved in a cameras commercial. We, as a society, made her famous. She would have just been another person on Dr. Phil’s show had no one thought what she said was so funny and shared it on Facebook.
Sometimes in our society, it takes a little while for things to spread. I know for me personally, I’ve shared something that I thought others would like and no one seemed to care. But then days, or sometimes weeks later, that same post is starting to spread and then a few more days later that post has gone completely viral. Everyone is asking their friends if they have seen this video or picture or post and is sharing it not only online but in person with others.
One thing that has really stuck with me is how a song can be spread so easily. Back in 1966, the duo, Simon & Garfunkel released a song called “The Sound of Silence.” When it was released it was quite popular but it grew in popularity again about a year ago. Around this time last year, Disturbed, a heavy metal band, made a cover of this song and released it on their album “Immortalized.” It sort of grew in popularity, for me, I fell in love with the song as soon as I heard it. I didn’t notice how many people loved the song until a few months after it had been released that people were posting about how they were listening to it and how much they loved it. Then recently, Disturbed was on the late night show Conan and sang this song. That video on Facebook has been viewed over two million times. It just goes to show that some things may become instantly popular while other things take time to become popular.
Photo credit: Death and Taxes