Of course, TikTok and Netflix didn’t invent the flashlight. But the infinite nature of the internet and online mechanics have that 15 minutes of fame.
“Some of us and some companies will learn to accept that fame comes in five seconds, not 15 minutes,” said Tal Shachar, a media and video game manager. wrote last year.
Almost every day or week there is a new piece of digital entertainment or an online celebrity mania that comes and goes much faster than fast fashion.
Netflix is following fashions Wear tracksuits or Record chess. the Reddit mobs that tried to track down the bombers of the Boston Marathon in 2013 turned into regular ones TikTok vigilante crusades. the 2010s viral internet celebrity machine feels musty compared to the quick imprinting of online stars like this Cranberry juice skateboard guy.
Why is this happening? I will name a couple of options. First, there is just SO MUCH of everything online. The good news is that this leaves more room for new trends or personalities, and makes Netflix or TikTok recommendations handy for figuring out what to watch.
The bad news is that it’s hard to get our attention for a very long time. I might like your Instagram photos, but … ooh, look over there! Another shiny internet object!
Second, Flash Internet Moments are juiced up by the recommendation systems of our favorite websites that are Reward attention with more attention.
People who saw these student union TikTok videos miscellaneous TikTok videos they comment on what a signal to TikTok’s computers to feed more fraternity videos into our eye holes. Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, and many other popular websites work with similar feedback loops that drive more of everything that is perceived.
It is hard to imagine slowing the pace of digital manias, so we may have to adjust to this reality.
And we may need to recalibrate the way we think. My colleague Kashmir Hill wrote a convincing essay This year about the belief in the early days of social media that the longer our lives and thoughts were documented online, the less we would judge others by their worst moments. “Instead, the opposite has happened,” wrote Kash.
We can still develop the compassion that internet optimists once foretold. Knowing that a new internet drama is about to emerge in an hour could lead us to resist, getting dragged into the endless cycle of come-and-go outrage an expensive advent calendar or “TikTok couch guy. “
Even Netflix seems concerned about relying on the sugar highs of fast-paced online trends. A Bloomberg News reporter, Lucas Shaw, wrote A year ago, Netflix tried to rely a little less on series and movies that become popular and fade quickly.
It turns out that producing entertainment that doesn’t last long is expensive and stressful. This also feels like a useful lesson for our tired brains.
Before we go …
Security versus visions of a self-driving future: Some former Tesla employees say Elon Musk pushed the company to do it endanger road safety in his wish that Tesla cars drive himself, report my colleagues Cade Metz and Neal E. Boudette. In one example, Musk asked Tesla engineers to install a rubber seal over the radar on the front of sedans, though some workers warned that the seal could trap snow and ice and prevent the system from working properly.
Related: Tesla drivers can now playing video games while driving via the large touchscreen in the dashboard.
The supply chain is also made up of people: A computer chip factory in Malaysia remained operational during a Covid-19 surge in the country this year. Family members of a deceased worker said Bloomberg News that they blamed the company for a factory worker death rate from Covid that appeared to be higher than the rest of Malaysia. (Subscription may be required.)
Does your cat love bird watching? Or is it boring you? Megan Reynolds writes about her cat (and herself) in the New York Times Magazine Find joy in hours of YouTube videos that give indoor kittens a glimpse into birds and outdoor scenes.
There is nothing quite like the mascots of Japanese baseball teams. Here is Nazo No Sakana, the mascot of the Chiba Lotte Marines team, doing his famous exercise of vomit his own skeleton. (Thanks to my colleague Erin McCann for publishing this post.)
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