The Domino Effect Of Social Media: A Response To The "Fireflies" Trend

The Domino Effect Of Social Media: A Response To The "Fireflies" Trend

What Owl City's song, and the reactions to it, have taught me about how we interact.

If the late 2000's pop music scene produced just one mind-boggling question: how does one receive a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs? Well, if you had forgotten about it before, the Internet has most likely reminded you by now.

Just about everyone remembers the 2009 smash hit "Fireflies" by the electro-pop shy boy Adam Young, better known as Owl City. As a super fanatic of this artist in my middle school years, I often pondered that exact same question. The logistics just didn't add up; did he receive a single hug from only a fraction of the luminescent creatures, or did every single one give him exactly one thousand embraces? And besides -- how does an insect hug a person anyway?

We all know the Internet has a thing for beating dead horses, and this time around, it was this same debacle that was resurrected recently by an unknown user and became a hot debate on Twitter and other social platforms. As a result, memes regarding the song started appearing -- and it was all downhill from there.

What amazed me most about this entire fad is that there was nothing, really, that sparked it. The song itself is eight years old and rarely plays on pop radio. In fact, the only recent activity by Owl City himself is a new single dedicated to his father, entitled "Not All Heroes Wear Capes," which can be streamed from Spotify but suggests no relationship to his first radio hit.

Given this scenario, it would seem that the Internet has become one giant universe full of completely random chain reactions, the dominos falling in infinite directions constantly and without end. And in some ways, that's true. But I also like to believe that there's a more personal touch to it. After all, nothing starts moving unless a force acts upon it.

Random tidbits like this become viral for the same reason a reader may share this very article - they like it, and want others to see it too. This act, and indeed the "Fireflies" trend as a whole, is not at all random -- in fact, it is innately intentional. "Fireflies" was popular in 2009, and there is no universal law that says it cannot be popular again, or that it even ceased to be popular, even if it is seen through a different lens. It comes down to one simple fact: people like the song, or the joke, or whatever it is that the previous person has set before them. And if they are compelled to share it, the reaction continues -- a large-scale domino effect, not random but carefully thought out so that each piece hits the next.

Some on the Web have also argued that the revival of a song like this is simply due to nostalgia. Believe it or not, 2009 was eight years ago, and young children today may have no idea about how much we wanted planet Earth to turn slowly back then. If one person who tweets about this song happens to be in the right place at the right time, and a lot of people feel the same way, the ingredients are just right for a viral outbreak of nostalgia. And with a song like "Fireflies" presenting such a thought-provoking phrase, it's not hard to see how this controversy has risen once again.

In the case of the "Fireflies" fiasco, a rare event has taken place. The constant questioning has finally garnered a response from the man himself, Adam Young, who has finally decided to put to rest the controversy he sparked all those years ago. Hats off to you, Owl City - your song has survived the gauntlet of pop radio, become a viral meme, and inspired real conversation about the way people interact.

Thanks for reading - I am new to The Odyssey and this is my first article! If you enjoyed it, please share! Thanks so much!

Cover Image Credit: Brian Bradley

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'Friends' Is Not Meant To Be Offensive, Even Though Millennials Think Otherwise

It's not that deep.

‘Friends’ is a show very loved by all - parents, teens, writers on the Odyssey alike. It seemed to be one of the most popular shows of the 90s-early 2000s and it still seems to remain as such. People like the show for various reasons: it’s a hilarious escape, it’s heartwarming, or because they identify with one of the quirky pals of the gang.

No matter what the reason, one thing remains the same. People LOVE that show. If you don’t believe me, go look at all of the Odyssey articles or Buzzfeed quizzes about it. But, does everyone love it as much as we think?

‘Friends’ only very recently came to Netflix in the UK and apparently, there has been an uproar of people not liking the way the show handled sensitive topics, but people in the US became aware of it because of a viral tweet. On January 11, 2018, LBC (or otherwise known as Leading Britain Conversation) made a tweet regarding the show.

They said, “Millennials watching 'Friends' for the first time on Netflix say the show is sexist, homophobic and transphobic. How have our values changed over the last 15 years? #DarrenOnLBC.” If you want to check it and the replies out, you can do so here.

This tweet caused the Twittersphere to blow up with people from both sides of the argument getting heated. For the people who agree with the millennials who think the show is unfit for today’s times, they have used situations from the show like Ross not hiring a nanny just because he’s a male, Rachel hiring an assistant just to date him, Chandler’s gay jokes, and Monica’s fat jokes as a way of saying that it is offensive and should frankly be taken off of Netflix. People on the other end of the fight have been saying that the other side should “just shut up and quit getting offended.”

I think, to an extent, the latter side is correct.

Are some of the jokes outdated and not as politically correct as they could have been? Yes. Are they still just jokes? Yes. When it comes down to it, ultimately ‘Friends’ was created to be entertainment for people, and the show writers back then had no way of knowing people would get offended at their jokes in 2018 because back when the show was created, that wasn’t how people thought.

So there is no reason to cause a riot and call for the show’s removal. Whether you hate the show or love it, just appreciate it for what it is - a show. That's all it is.

Cover Image Credit: NBC

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Writing Is More Than Just An Art

Writing gives you a voice, reason, and purpose.

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been a writer. From stories to journal entries, I’ve found peace when a pencil is balanced between my fingers scribbling onto a blank piece of paper. Although I find my sanity in writing, many others do not and often ask why I write. I could write a book on why I actually do write but there are some simple reasons I do, and why I think others should write, too.

First off, writing can be anything in any form. I personally love writing from slam poetry to monologues, but that’s why I love to write: I can write anything I want. No one ever has to read it, no one ever even has to see it. There is so much freedom between that pencil and paper, and all that freedom is yours.

Second of all, the comfort writing brings is indescribable. When you have no idea what to do, when life is falling apart, write. You will find yourself in a place where you feel like the world disappeared. That paper and pencil is your best friend, listener, and comforter. Just try it, don’t even think twice and let the words take over. Even if it doesn’t make sense and even if it’s messy, you will feel relief.

Writing gives you a voice. Everyone has a voice in this world and a way I have found to use mine is through my words. Using writing I have found my strength and power. Others can find their voices, too, all it takes is writing. Some may say they don’t know how to use their voice to their advantage, but all you need is a pencil or pen and you're set to go.

Also, writing is a platform. While some may find that comforting or problematic it is true and beautiful. You can discuss whatever issues or topics you desire and others can see what you're trying to get across. It's an amazing way to communicate problems and how to solve them throughout the world.

Did you know writing can be healthy for you? It's true, putting your hand to work can actually be helpful or useful to you. Besides the reason of having a place to vent to or express ideas, it can be good for your movement and strength physically and emotionally. Doing a writing exercise can stimulate juices to flow and wake up those parts of your body. Writing a little bit can make a change in your everyday life...(you learn something new every day).

And lastly, writing is more than words. It's a form of art, just like painting or singing. It's a place to express thoughts, ideas, concepts, opinions, or stories. It's a safe haven and a tool that anyone can use to their advantage. Writing is therapeutic, relieving, calming, energizing, and creative. The possibilities are endless and that itself is art.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with why I write or why I think others should write, give it a shot. Let your mind drift to a place where you can be free and express whatever you want. Take an opportunity and turn it into a message, story, or anything possible. You have the power, use it.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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