Maybe it's further proof of the overstimulated, short-attention-spanned tendencies of my generation, but I'm obsessed with Vines. I know the original app is long gone and I'm probably behind the times since I'm just now beginning to enjoy them, but it's not my fault that YouTube continues to preserve this vital piece of internet culture for my viewing pleasure.
For those who don't know, Vines are seven-second clips of videos, memes, and other weird internet gems that, when taken out of their original context, become unbearably hilarious. Vines used to be accessible through a smartphone application which is no longer in use, but they still exist on the internet in several forms, including strung together in a multiplicity of Vine compilation videos housed on YouTube.
I have watched more of these so-called "Vine Comps" than I care to admit. It took me a few tries to get used to their unique, abrupt style of humor, but I soon found myself turning to Vines to relax or kill time rather than participating in other forms of social media or watching full-length television shows and films. Vine Comps exist in a variety of lengths and formats, and the more I watched, the more I began to understand the appeal of this modern medium of communication and humor.
One thing I enjoy about Vines is how relatable they can be. Even the most outlandish scenarios and caricatures hint at underlying truths and realities which resonate with everyday life.
A clip of a pajama-clad woman banging cookie sheets together in an apartment hallway, screaming "I didn't get no sleep 'cause of
The child unwrapping an avocado and politely thanking the gift-giver, while clearly not thrilled with receiving the fruit as a present, reminds us of times in our lives when it has taken all of our strength of will to respond to an unintended slight with dignity.
A little girl awakened from her sleep, turning toward the camera with messy hair and a glazed, half-asleep look in her eyes could have been us this very morning, roused from pleasant dreams by an alarm or the rising sun.
The brave child who assures us that, despite perceiving himself as looking "like a burnt chicken nugget," he still loves himself, speaks to our own existential struggles with appearance and identity, and triumphantly declares that we need not seek the approval of others in order to be confident in ourselves.
The point is, Vines convey worlds of meaning in seven seconds of material. But aside from that, they're also just plain funny. We can send Vine videos or quote them in appropriate situations, or we can merely appreciate them for what they are--clips of people doing and saying ridiculous things that we later enjoy at their expense.
So, while I still enjoy the highest forms of art, literature, and entertainment, I also acknowledge that sometimes the same profound depths of meaning and pleasure can be attained in just seven seconds.