Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Would You Do? - The YouTube Phenomenon.

I've only been emailed this video about 48,993 times in the past week alone. Judging by the YouTube numbers (500k+ viewers and counting), I'm not the only one.

Anyways, here's some girl who goes by the name "Scarlett", taking an unfortunate, and possibly orchestrated, tumble that has the internet goin' nuts.

Here's the full 5 minute video just in case you like watching paint dry.

I've always been somewhat of a private dude, so maybe I'm just going to naturally miss out on the whole YouTube/viral video phenomenon. Except for that blurb over on the NPR site, there's nothing on the internet that would make me personally identifiable. This is purely intentional. I work for an employer that actively scours the web for information about potential job candidates. They look at FaceBook, MySpace, Flickr, and of course YouTube. People are certainly entitled to having their own lives and the right to self-expression, but an employer also has the right to refuse a job if they find something out there that's questionable.

Sometimes, I wonder if people like "Scarlett" even think about this before they film themselves doing dumb stuff that leaves a permanent electronic trail. 15 years from now, when Latarian is trying to get a job at Walmart (for the hotwing discount of course), I'm sure some 3rd shift manager is going to remember his real-life Grand Theft Auto excursion and subsequent trip to Hot97. That 1/4 page resume is headed straight for the toilet, Skinny Black style.

Then again, most of the folks on YouTube doin' dumb stuff are young, and we know how young folks have zero concept of longterm ramifications. Chances are, if I was back at my Negro College HBCU with today's technology, I might could do something hella ignant and throw it on DailyMotion too. So maybe I shouldn't be so judgemental.

Still, I just wish some of these folks would think first and record later.

Question: Have YOU been in a viral video YOU'd care to share with the rest of us? What do YOU think of the whole "viral video" craze? Do you think people film first and think later about the real-world ramifications? Is this all about attention or just a sign of the times?

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