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TOPIC: Social Media Overnight Sensations

Social Media Overnight Sensations 28 Feb 2016 18:32 #8966

  • michelle.h
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Rebecca. Alex. Daniel. Sound familiar? What if I said Rebecca Black, Alex from Target, and, of course, Damn Daniel? Now we’re all on the same page. Are any of these people especially talented? Do they play active roles in today’s media? No. So why do we all know these names, and for what reason?

Social media has come to dominate virtually all other forms of public media in recent years. Its uses range anywhere from simplifying an international job interview via Skype, to showcasing a picture of your most recently completed jigsaw puzzle to 500 of your closest friends. Most importantly, however, social media has taken it upon itself to redefine the meaning of “fame”. No longer do we need to pay $12 to experience a grand spectacle of a film, or browse the magazine stands at the local grocery store for entertainment. Even our mentality towards what makes us laugh or cry has taken a drastic turn. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the above names, these are just a few of many individuals who have become overnight viral internet sensations thanks to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Vine, and other popular Internet-based news sources.

YouTube introduced us to Antoine Dodson in 2010, famous for his news interview after his house was broken into, which was then auto-tuned, remixed, and sold on iTunes, resulting in thousands of purchases within days. Just one year later, YouTube brought us Rebecca Black, a teen singer know for her song “Friday”, and Chris Crocker, who famously uploaded his public plea to “Leave Britney Alone”. Reddit, a popular social news networking site, introduced Grumpy Cat to the world in 2012, and Facebook brought “Hot Mugshot Guy”, Jeremy Meeks, to our Newsfeeds in 2014. Although “Alex from Target” made his debut on blogging website Tumblr, his fame was launched when a user re-posted a picture of the 16 year-old, bagging items in the checkout line of Target, on Twitter in 2014. Of course nobody will forget The Dress, adorned with the recognizable hashtags #blackandblue and #whiteandgold, or rapper DJ Khaled’s live updates of his lost-at-sea jet ski incident on Snapchat, both of which occurred in 2015. Finally, Twitter proudly threw Daniel, or better know as “Damn Daniel”, into the media’s spotlight for seemingly no reason other than the hilarious narration of unseen Snapchatter Josh Holz, who recorded himself repeatedly complimenting his friend Daniel over the course of a week, which went viral February 15, 2016.

These are just a few of many recent Internet phenomenons, but they often leave many to ask the question “Why?”. There is no exceptional skill or talent involved in the majority of these posts. It simply seems the current entertainment trend is playing to the theme of “less is more”, but then again, who knows what we will wake up to tomorrow.
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Social Media Overnight Sensations 28 May 2016 00:54 #9940

  • johanna.g
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A 12 year old kid, named Greyson Michael Chance is just what you call ”An overnight sensation”. It started with a tweet, a tweet from very well-known influencer, Ashton Kutcher. On May 11 Kutcher tweets: “Watch the 1 girl in the back row that realizes she’s witnessing a future superstar in the making AMAZING->…”. Kutcher’s link directed his followers to the young boy’s YouTube video who was performing for his 6th grade class.

After Kutcher posted this link the video had over eleven million views, a fan page on Facebook with thousands of likes and after just two days, Chance was flown to LA to appear on the May 13 Ellen Degeneres show to perform. YouTube and other video player platforms have opened doors for performers, comedians, and artists. Every click represents a new follower, fan, or potential consumer. Content on social media are spreading like butter. Social media and other kinds of platforms has become such powerful tools that one can get famous over one single night, just by posting a video.
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Social Media Overnight Sensations 08 Sep 2016 15:39 #10088

  • rebecca.w
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It's so interesting that you chose to name these artists. I have been affected recently by the Beyonce sensation calling out her husband's alleged mistress "Becky with the good hair." As a Becky myself, I cannot avoid this playful moniker, but I am still disturbed by the racial undertones. The name Becky has been used in hip hop for decades either to poke fun at white women or to denigrate them as in the song by Plies "Gimme that Becky." The use of a name can be so powerful when studying race and gender in the media. Recently Becky has become the stereotypical white girl name invoked to call out the illusive oppressive forces that inspire such music, media, and art. While it's upsetting to see any kind of racial stereotyping, I can certainly understand the role reversal and the experiences that brought us to this moment in history.
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