Topic 4: Virility

When it comes to setting and spreading trends, virility is one of the characteristics that makes the Internet stand out over all other previous trend-spreading formats. With the development of video networks like YouTube and social networks like FaceBook, the phenomenon of “going viral” has become a key feature of how trends spread through the Internet. The phrase, “going viral” typically refers to trends that gain popularity and spread at an exponential rate within a very short amount of time. When it comes to trends “going viral”, no formats can carry this out as efficiently as the Internet.

Prior to the invention of the Internet, trends still existed and spread through different, perhaps more primitive ways. Through newspapers, television, and simple gossip, trends spread at a rate that, back then was the quickest a trend could spread, but now might seem very slow. With the invention of the Internet into modern society, the rate at which trends are able to popularize has skyrocketed. The video website known as YouTube provides a most well-known example of how something can go viral in, seemingly, the blink of an eye. For example, in July of 2012, South Korean music artist Psy posted the music video on YouTube of his song Gangnam Style. Within the next five months, the video became the most viewed video ever on YouTube, with over a billion views. Gangnam Style‘s virility does not stop there; a few years later, the video literally “broke” YouTube by surpassing the number of views that the website was capable of counting. This issue has since been fixed and the video continues to gain views, currently at just under two and a half billion views. What role does virility play in how people communicate on the Internet?



2 thoughts on “Topic 4: Virility

  1. Virility is an interesting aspect of trends because having a high virility can lead to trends becoming even more noticed. If a trend spreads at a moderate rate, people are less likely to notice it, because less people are spreading it around, and other things are happening at the same time, so the trend can be drowned at. However, if a trend spreads virally, suddenly a lot of people are promoting it, over a much shorter period of time. This tends to inundate people with messages about the trend, and bring their attention to it. Also, some people look into trends just based on their virility, if something spreads very quickly among a lot of people, they figure it’s worth a look. Virility is not only a means of measuring trends, but also a driving force behind some of them.


  2. I completely agree that the only reason why this element exists is because of the internet. Viral media is just an extremely awesome thing when someones idea just goes beaming across the internet at lightning speed gathering millions of views and followers and/or subscribers. Since i have change to multi-platform gaming i have been frequently bombarded by viral media in many forms, they are just really cool because of the unity they can create in humanity.


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