I tend to waste my time scrolling though Facebook a couple of times a day. During these daily excursions, I’ve noticed that Facebook has been slowly turning into into more of a “blog” type of social media. Whereas Facebook used to be more of a personal compilation of thoughts and life events, I believe that it has evolved. While it is still personal and used to share personal things, there has also been a large increase in people “sharing” pictures, articles, videos, etc., in a blogging style similar to websites such as Tumblr.
I personally favor this shift to blogging-style because I can find some interesting articles or cute videos featuring dogs and babies, or fun recipes demonstrated through video (Tasty, anyone?). For instance, I just saw the most adorable video of a three-year old singing a song from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. You need to see it because you will instantly feel happier and have an urge to sing the song all day.
This is obviously quality entertainment and definitely what I want to find when I scroll though Facebook. But interestingly, while the original video has about 7,800,000 views, the shared video on Facebook has reached at the time of this posting over 24 million views. This is only one example that demonstrates the power of sharing over Facebook and how it can really increase popularity and view count. Also, how can someone watch this video and not want to share it with everyone they know? That is why I am enlightening you, my lovely reader. You are welcome.
Another interesting trend I have noticed blossom from Facebook’s blogging style is the use of meme’s and funny pictures in order to promote a political candidate or party. In particular, I have noticed a large amount of meme’s in favor of democratic nominee Bernie Sanders.
Many of the people on my newsfeed are sharing memes from a group on Facebook that is quickly gaining popularity, called Bernie’s Dank Meme Stash. (In case anyone is unclear, Urban Dictionary defines “dank” as “something of high quality”). This group currently has a whopping 284,000 members and is continuously growing. However, people do not have to belong to the group to share and distribute memes, which would indicate that the pictures are likely reaching a greater audience.
Here is an example of one of the memes from the group:
This meme is an extension of another (older) popular meme that went around for a bit. It featured the word “me” next to a picture of an eyebrow similar to the one on the left, with “you” next to a picture similar to the eyebrows on the right. You know we’ve reached a pivotal point when there are memes of memes.
Other examples from Bernie’s Dank Meme Stash:
While I am a supporter of Mr. Sanders and his politics, my aim is not to talk politics but instead to highlight an interesting phenomenon happening on Facebook. Since a large portion of Sander’s supporters are considered millennials, I find it extremely interesting how a generation that grew up with internet culture are currently using it as a means of supporting and raising awareness for Bernie. The internet is doing what it’s best at, which is using humor and funny pictures to make a point. Because really, aren’t memes at the core of internet culture?
Social media, including Facebook, are being used as tools to spread political messages. This is the first campaign where I feel like this is happening on such a grand scale and I feel like this is partially due to Bernie himself, whose ideas and messages seems to resonate largely with a younger group of voters.