Public Enemy once said “Don’t Believe the Hype”. At the time they were referring to the persona they were acquiring from detractors as thugs but the hook of the song stuck and has been around ever since as a caution against overstatement.
Nowadays hype has taken on a whole new life. Thanks to the internet and social media a seemingly mundane piece of information can take on a life of its own, for better or worse. Just the other day CNN anchor Don Lemon posted a picture of a high-top fade haircut. Why he thought he could do that and not have it commented on I don’t know. What I do know is that within minutes he was being roasted and #DonLemonlookslike was trending.
There are those who want to blame everything on twitter and to a certain extent you can. The 24-hour-news cycle is in hyperdrive and show producers who are trying to stay fresh and relevant look for content online. What are people talking about at that very moment? A couple weeks ago it was Miley Cyrus.
Somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking…twerk twerk Miley Miley – Jay Z
You would have to have been living under a rock to not know about the display put on by singers Miley Cryus and Robin Thicke at the MTV Music Video Awards. According to Cyrus, twitter’s response was “historic”. Ehhhhh sorry Miley I wouldn’t go that far but for her young life it was definitely a milestone. Their uh…duet generated over 306,000 tweet a minute at its peak. Unfortunately that outpouring on social media meant that more traditional forms had to get in on the action and we were subjected to every possible reaction piece from every outlet imaginable. Although shoutout to my former colleagues at ABC News for going above and beyond with their Twerking: A Scientific Explanation. They really out did themselves and were able to embarrass me by association in the process. Their originality was rewarded with one of my favorite trending topics of the last year #ABCReports.
All hype isn’t wasted on pop culture whims, its power can be used for good. In June Texas state senator Wendy Davis went up against her conservative colleagues for a HISTORIC 13-hour filibuster to obstruct the vote on a restrictive abortion bill. #IStandforWendy and #StandforWendy were trending until well after the midnight deadline. In fact I actually didn’t go to sleep until close to 2am East Coast time because when time ran out Republicans in the chamber were claiming that they were able to get off a vote. Davis and thousands of supporters in the chamber protested and by morning the dispute had been cleared up and the senator was a star.
Believe that the hype isn’t going anywhere as more of us are willing and able to share our commentary with the world.