Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Viral Online Habits

In the days when I first moved to Virginia in 2004, I would often sit on Cindy's couch (Lisa and I rented rooms from a very awesome woman, who is still a great friend) with my laptop, bullshitting with my friends, who were spread all over the country at college--from Middletown, Conn. to Los Angeles, Calif. to Spokane, Wash. This was the dawn of the viral video days, the days of Schfifty-Five and the hilariously dumb answers to high-school test questions. I still need to study up, but this list is a good starting point to viral video history.

Viral video has become so pervasive that Current TV has a segment called Viral Video Film School, which covers internet how-tos, vlogging (video blogging), sexy tax advice and anything else that people take video of and post online.

Much as we still enjoy viral videos and sound clips, ridiculous, self-aggrandizing "quizzes" have also sadly endured in the present-day internet experience. Ten multiple-choice questions aren't going to make you any more similar to Bella Swan (Which Twilight Character Are You?) than you were five minutes ago, and they sure as shit won't make Colin Firth your partner (Which Celebrity Is Your Ideal Boyfriend?). It might, however, make me Paul McCartney (Which Beatle Are You?) circa 1979. I don't want to be the post-2000 McCartney, selling shitty albums at Starbucks. That McCartney I refer to as Mr. Jowls.

But I digress. The inspiration of this entire post was, believe it or not The Most Useless Quiz Ever. This was one of my favorite viral internet quizzes from my internet-use infancy. The quiz is true to its name, and I really enjoy the results. My first quiz back in 2004 revealed that I was "the macaroni protest movement," which came along with an illustration of angry elbow noodles. I've clearly grown up a lot since then. As you can see, I'm now "the attack banana." Other known results: a heart-shaped armadillo and a ladybug languishing on a throw pillow. Good times.

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