Wikipedia defines viral videos as video that becomes popular through the viral process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites such as Youtube as well as social media and email.’ So basically, they are the videos which have a longevity which depends on the hook of the video – as long as the audience feeds off that hook, it remains viral. Well, the question is, should we trust viral videos, or are they popular PR gimmicks?
There are many instances of CEOs going for viral videos to just get the audience’s attention. But there is no telling about what video can be viral and what cannot be. It is just a game of luck and some innate sense of the audience’s perception. Some people think that viral videos display well-orchestrated events to draw social media attention, but it isn’t always so. Most of the times, the stupidest videos garner the most attention and become viral.
All this planning that goes behind a video and the purpose with which it is uploaded is only to get views, and the more the views, the more viral it gets. So, trusting viral videos is a folly because it is equivalent to trusting something we have no idea about – we have no idea how it was made, for what purpose it was made, or if we are just merely serving the purpose of making it viral by watching and sharing it.
Many talented artists and many good, educational videos stay hidden in the shadows because of the attention that viral videos get and most of the time, the videos which go viral are just plain ridiculous. Therefore, since we are provided with the internet and we have access to the social media, it is up to us to create a difference. Instead of fueling the viral-video culture and going gaga over it, we should ensure that we emphasize on the learning we get from videos. Trust is vital in today’s era where everything is available online, and it is up to us to not let our trust be misplaced by trusting the credibility of viral videos.