By Laura Vettleson-Trutza
What would you do for a million views? Would you eat a light bulb? Would you be willing to burn your hand in boiling water? People have always been willing to do things if they have an audience that would enjoy watching them do something dangerous. People are even more likely to do something if they get something in return, like money. With social media, people can have a potentially much larger audience, and it makes it much easier for people to spread their video out to others to watch. Most of the time people want to make a video that is “funny” in hopes they will get a positive reaction from others. However, some people might not care whether their video gets a positive reaction, and they may make a video they know people won’t like. For example they may make a video of them harming someone, themself or even an animal in some way. They know people won’t like this; however, they do know that people will still be likely to share it and show it to their friends.
In the modern day, people will get inspired by others to do something similar in hopes they will get as famous or popular. I think sometimes this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I think that it can help spark creativity in others. The videos don’t necessarily need to prank videos or anything funny. Maybe someone created a short film that got widely popular, and this inspired others to create videos or films similar to it. Sure, people might just copy it and produce a film with little variance from the original; however, others might get inspired to create something original from it. I also think people can use this as a way to spread awareness about certain issues regarding diseases, violence, social problems, etc.
However, a negative effect from this would be how people will do idiotic things that could hurt themselves or others. If others see people doing stupid stuff just to be famous, it may encourage them to do the same. This can vary from humor to violent acts. One trend I see to be very common are “challenges” where people will dare their friends or others to do the trending challenge. These challenges vary in difficulty, but are generally a simple concept. Challenges are usually harmless; however, there are some like the “salt and ice challenge” and the “cinnamon challenge” that can potentially be very harmful internet trends that people will participate in. Especially with these being bit dangerous, if something “went wrong,” it would make for a “good” video, and more people would watch it.
A lot of people these days both want and love attention from others. I personally don’t think it’s good or bad, but it more so depends on what that person does to get the views and if there is another reason. It’s sad and sometimes scary to think people will do just about anything to have their face and name all over social media, or even the news. Although we may be disgusted by what people post and not like it, by us watching it and spreading it to our friends, we encourage this type of behavior.
Laura Vettleson-Trutza is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of seven area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 19th year.