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A Viral Obsession

When the words “Charlie bit my finger” are muttered in any form of company, there is a good chance that the people around you will know what you’re talking about.

Sitting as the most viewed viral video of YouTube, Charlie bit my finger-again sits as number six among the top YouTube videos with exactly 417,840,440 views as of February 10, 2012. Ahead of Charlie are five music videos. Once this video went viral, meaning it was being sent from friend to friend and being shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., many parents were submitting their kids’ videos in hopes to find their 15 seconds of fame (because YouTube has a time limit not exceeding 15 minutes). Once this caught on, videos on YouTube went from kids to anyone attempting any act to achieve their own form of fame. Why is this?

“Because people have a deep need to share their emotions, there will always be an insatiable demand for funny baby videos, angry political rants and Justin Bieber songs,” said Jonah Lehrer, writer for Wired.com.

Anyone coming across YouTube can easily see that an array of emotions is shared in these videos. If you’re angry, then it’s easy to find videos to either cure your anger or further it along. The same goes with any emotion. So, are users uploading their videos to convey an emotion or to get their own 15 seconds of fame? I would venture out to say both.


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