What Makes Things Go Viral Essay

943 words - 4 pages

Ashley Lee09/23/2014J GravelyWhat Really Make Things Go ViralEli Pariser developed a website that is loaded with click bait content and interesting headlines that launched in March 2012 called, "Upworthy". This sight is a more modernized way of bringing awareness on what's going on in the world but in a more engaging way that attracts viewers. A blog made by an Upworthy employee called "What Makes Things Go Viral Will Blow Your Mind", states that, "So, yes, headlines do matter, but, the content doesn't go viral unless people love it so much they want to share it". The argument that was stated means that in order to make these videos go viral; viewers have to like or show interest in what they see.I only agree with the fact that headlines do matter but I disagree with the statement saying that people have to love what they see in order to share it. Upworthy Insider has some valid points, headlines do matter, and they are what the viewer sees first before anything. But what is not valid is the argument assuming that the viewer's love the content when there can be a different reason why they shared it. The blog might be correct but, some of the research states otherwise and loving the content isn't one of them.According to Rosanna Guadagno, Ph.D. she states that people share content because of a psychological process called, "Emotional Contagion". This is a systematic way that makes emotions spread like a disease. This is also a social and emotional that can easily influence others. It can also engage other who is exposed to it to do what they see. For an example, "The Ice Bucket Challenge", which started for the cause of a disease called "ALS", quickly spread a crossed the world because, people wanted to make people aware of this disease.Another reason why people share content is because of reciprocity. According to Dr. Cialdini, at the core of human interactions is anticipated reciprocity: You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Arguing that anticipated reciprocity automatically makes us feel the need to share something even if the person isn't engaged by it. Referring back to the ALS challenge, this is a good way of describing this theory. If someone challenges you to do something you feel pressured into doing so or if someone tags you in something for example saying, "Share this if you feel a certain type of way about something", you would want to share it because of what you feel. Given the research about reasons why people share things, seems as if the argument made by an up worthy employee is one sided.In the Upworthy employees argument, "Clickbait", - overselling content with outrageous headlines in order to get people onto the website - is a totally viable (if totally annoying) way to get a bunch of initial views." Well this statement is hypocritical because, Upworthy...

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