I am Raj.
Did you know that the swastika is used as a symbol for well-being in the Hindu religion?
But, I’ve promised you some racism. So let’s begin…
First, I’ve learned that there is “a strong link between evoking emotion and whether online content becomes viral” (Berger & Milkman, 2010, p.15).
They studied 6,956 NY Times articles and the NYTimes.com Most Emailed list to find links between emotion and viral posts (p. 10).
High-emotion communication is omnipresent, seen in the tweets and speeches Donald Trump posted and said during his presidential campaign. It’s seen again with heart-wrenching pathos in advertisements for charities, jewelry, and WestJet is always sending some broke family somewhere.
As we know, not everything goes viral. Sadness-inducing content is less likely to go viral than fun, happy content (p. 16). Kittens, puppies, or babies receive more attention than kitty-litter, dog-shit, and grown-ups.
But, some negative emotions are in fact associated with viral content, as “anxiety- and anger-inducing content are both more likely to make the most emailed list” (p.16).
See, in the never-ending quest for shares, likes, follows, views, clicks, replies, retweets, and reposts, I’ve decided to experiment.
If viral posts are those that induce emotions of anger, anxiety, or happiness, then the viralest of the viral posts should be one that induces anger, anxiety, AND happiness.
If I can mix racist sentiments with friendly compliments, then I should have myself a viral post:
- It’s good to take Indian people camping with you because their turbans can be fashioned into tents; however, Indian food is excellent.
- I saw a Jewish guy staring at the floor and thought he was depressed, turns out he just saw a nickel; however, Jewish food is delicious.
- I find white people confusing. How can you say you’re German, French, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, etc., if you don’t speak the language, eat the food, participate in tradition, etc.? Ancestry.com has got you all messed up. Just say you’re Canadian; however, Canadian food is incredibly multicultural.
- I had a statement about Jamaican people, but I got too high to remember it; however, Jamaican food is tasty.
In conclusion, think about how writers may sensationalize their headings and articles to gain that extra follower, and don’t let the ideas of the media fog your judgement of others.