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The allure of viral video fame makes our generation stoop to low levels

Caitlyn Grcich, Editor-in-Chief

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      Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. For many young adults and teenagers, social media and technology is ingrained into nearly every aspect of their lives. From apps like Snapchat and Twitter to even school-based technology like Google Classroom and Apple TV, technology seems to permeate every single person in one way or another.

      With social media and technology does offer great power with the world at your fingertips, it is quick to forget that with great power comes also great responsibility.

      Take, for example, YouTube sensation Logan Paul. Paul posted a video taken in Japan in the  Aokigahara forest, the infamous forest commonly known as the “Suicide forest”, in which a victim of suicide was in the thumbnail of the video, causing backlash from both the public as well as the YouTube community. Despite issuing an apology video, many feel that his actions lacked empathy.

      After this issue occurred, came another hot issue – Tide Pods. Based on a meme that circulated about “forbidden snacks”, soon after came videos and “challenges” to eat a tide pod. Videos and photos came of people eating the Pods, and with this came warning from police departments, poison control centers, and even Tide themselves. Some have even died as a result of eating said Pods, with two toddlers ingesting them, according to a Jan. 12 article from CBS.

      Manufacturers have been concerned about toddlers mistakenly ingesting them, but now teens are popping them on purpose and posting videos of the results online, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

      Now, while it might be for a laugh or to fit in with the internet “in crowd”, it has appeared that such actions are only making public perception of young people even worse. If you have to impress people you’ve never met on the internet, what would you be willing to do to impress someone in real life? Never before would I have even dreamt of people eating Tide Pods to get a few more likes or follows on the internet, and yet, here we are in 2018. Never would I have dreamt of a YouTube star with fans across all age groups not only intentionally posting videos that degrade others as well as another culture, but also a video that incited a reevaluation of YouTube and its quality.

      Despite the fact that you might want to fit in with the internet jocks and cheerleaders, remember, too, that every single thing you do does follow you around, and with colleges and employers becoming increasingly more aware and tech savvy, you run the risk of ruining potential education and employment opportunities all because you posted a video of you eating a Tide Pod and getting sick or you posted an inappropriate photo.

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The allure of viral video fame makes our generation stoop to low levels