The Impact of Viral Videos

After reading Racist Visual Rhetoric and Images of Trayvon Martin by Lisa Lebduska, I can see clearly how scopic regime is the difference between the way our culture constructs fiction and fact.  To every story, there are some elements that trigger a reaction in us and determine specific ways of seeing. In order to make sense of the things we see, we visualize an image that takes place in the scopic regime.  Why is it that images and videos have such an impact on us?  I would have to say that it’s because imagery and visual mediation is such powerful tool that it can both alleviate pain and stress and cause pain.

In today’s society, imagery plays such an important role and sadly, many of what we see in social media can often be damaging and volatile. A rumor posted on social media can rapidly and extensively spread and in the case of Trayvon Martin, the media has conflated images and texts collaboratively tell the story of such a tragic case. The question can be asked, why does some videos go viral while others do not? On both sides of the Martin and Zimmerman’s case, there has been a deliberately “engineered” action to use viralty to spread content and mobilize support. As Jones and Hafner stated “One important though sometimes neglected aspect of digital literacy in the ability to use digital tools to manage, distribute and focus attention.”

Clearly, it is the rhetorical influence that viral videos have upon the public to control how we exchange information and related to each other. As participants in online discourse communities and social networks, it has become very easy to  share mutual interests, help one another with questions, voice complaints and share experiences and information.