Viral Video Has Jumped The Shark

Before we get started lets make sure everyone actually knows what "viral video" means.
 Youtube has Viral Videos.. Sometimes

What does Viral Video mean?

"Viral Video" is a relatively new term.  Back in the olden days, before about 2006 the term "viral video" didn't even exist.  But today with the YouTube, things have changed.  A viral video  or a 'video gone viral' is a video on the internet that is so entertaining or so irresistibly interesting, that you share it or forward it (via email, Facebook, YouTube sharing, etc), to your friends.  Your friends, agreeing that the video is of a highly entertaining nature, in turn share it with all their friends.  Then they tell all of their friends, then they tell all of theirs, etc.  When you do the math, if 10 people all share it with 10 friends, and all of them also share it with their 10 friends, you will see that the number of people that have looked at and decided to share the video can quickly grow into the millions, potentially into the billions.  When this happens, the video is termed to have "gone viral".  The root of the term 'viral' is because it "spreads like a virus".
 

Wait, what does "Jumped The Shark" mean?

Sorry, I forget that some readers might be under the age of 30 and may not have any idea what "jumped the shark" means.  This term dates back to the early 1980's.  The TV sitcom Happy Days had been very popular for several years.  But as with many successful TV shows, as it aged and viewership began to wane, the producers had to come up with new, fun, dramatic and exciting ways to keep people interested in the show.  The producers came up with the idea of sending the gang to Hollywood (for some lame reason that I cannot recall), and as part of the trip (for some other even more lame reason, that I cannot recall), The Fonz was to jump over a shark on water skies.  This was not too long after the film Jaws had broken all box office records, so sharks were 'hip'.  Anyway, The Fonz does indeed "jump the shark" and in doing so, marked the exact moment when the producers and writers of Happy Days had gone beyond the point of no return, and killed the show without yet realizing it.  So the term "jumped the shark" means "it's over" or even "it's beyond over".
 

How you can tell that "viral video" has "jumped the shark".

Viral Video of Fonz Jumping the Shark
Virtually every day, usually more than once each day, I personally witness the brainless news-reader of whatever channel I happen to be staring at proclaim "and now lets look at the viral video of the day".  Usually these videos are funny.. or cute.. or mildly entertaining, but more often than not, the videos have not "gone viral" and therefore, by definition cannot be the "viral video of the day".  "Viral Video" does not mean "some stupid cat video we found on Youtube".  Seeing this happen on a daily basis made me fairly sure that it was all over for the term 'viral video'.  
 

What About Tosh.0?

Tosh.0 features funny/gross/racist videos.  Sometimes, on a particluarly good episode, Tosh.0 will feature a video that is funny, gross AND racist.  Tosh.0 does NOT feature "viral videos"!  Daniel Tosh and his crew know this, and have never once used the term 'viral video' unless they are complaining about Rebecca Black's horrible singing voice.  Proving yet again that funny/cute/stuipd/racist video on the intenet does not necessarily mean "viral video".  
 

Absolute proof of shark jumping.

I have been able to ignore the feeble-minded talking-head news-readers misuse and clear misunderstanding of the term for quite a long time now.  After all, I can't really blame them.  It's the news reader's job to blindly repeat the words on the prompter in front of them.  The real blame goes to the news "writers".  You might think I meant to say news "reporters", but that art pretty much died out years ago.  Today it's easier to copy and paste from the internet or a press release than to actually "report".  It's the writers that came up with this gem that I personally witnessed on a certain very popular cable news network yesterday:
 
The mindless news reader was yammering about the recent tragedy at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and the ongoing protests in the middle east.  The talking head declared: "..blah blah.. protests were sparked by a viral video mocking Muhammad..blah blah.." The reader-bot then went on to explain "..blah blah.. but virtually nobody has actually seen the video in the United States or abroad, and most protesters, when interviewed confirmed that they have not watched the video".  Do you see what he did there?  Now we have viral videos that nobody has actually watched if you are to believe the brain-dead news-talker (and sadly, most people do) !
 
So how can you tell for sure that the term "viral video" has "jumped the shark"?  It becomes obvious when the media (mostly the mindless 'news readers') misuse the term on a daily basis. 
 
I'm not sure if this rant was really about videos, or stupid news-channel readers, or cat videos, but one thing I am certain of: Viral video has jumped the shark.
 

   

Comments

Viral videos have jumped the shark because they are soooooooooooo pervasive that you can't help but be sick of them. Hence, they are truly "viral" in that they make you sick.

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