Why Entertainment is going Viral: An opinions column

In a world where Rebecca Black has over 2,000,000 hits on Youtube, and people spend countless hours watching videos like Charlie bit my finger, the question has to be asked: has our taste for entertainment worsened over the years? Has bad become the new good? How is it that given two minutes, someone from our generation will decide to watch a guy mesmerized by a double rainbow instead of something of better quality?

It turns out however that the average viral video has many qualities that would appeal to the 21st century person. In the fast paced, time consuming world we live in today, we need entertainment that will nicely fit into our tight schedules and our short attention spans. So a two and a half minute video of Miss South Carolina messing up her interview round is enough of a break to make us laugh a little (and boost our egos).

“I think what makes viral videos so popular is that they’re so short,” said sophomore Sarah Frankland-Searby. “It’s just three minutes of getting your laugh and getting back to work.”

Current video technology has actually helped broaden the average viewers’ idea of entertainment. For those that are sick of mainstream entertainment, viral videos can sometimes actually provide a good alternative. Sure, while many of these videos may not exactly represent the best of talent, there are a few that highlight great artists where you least expect it- like the Susanne Boyle Brittan’s got talent audition. Viral videos provide people with a medium to find something truly unique and surprising.

“We’ve always had a viral video market,” said Frankland-Searby.”It was just in the form of America’s funniest home videos and people finding things and reporting them, but now with YouTube it gets shared around faster and we get to see more of them.”

So all in all, viral videos have not necessarily reduced our quality of what we see as talent. True artists still garner great popularity and appreciation, but now people also have some room for something a little less genius but equally entertaining.

“Viral videos makes [entertainment] more accessible,” said Freshman Lily Hislop. “With viral videos you can be the one producing the content. Some stuff online is funnier than what a sitcom writer can make up. It’s not reducing the quality, its changing the quality.”