Memes had dramatically shorter half-lives in 2012 than 5 years earlier. That's true partly because so many more are being generated.
NPR reported that the half-life of memes in 2012 has dropped to a quarter of what it was 5 years earlier. At work are ever-decreasing attention spans and the rising speed at which new memes are generated.
A video commonly known as "Charlie bit my finger," posted in 2007, remained popular for several months without losing steam. In 2012, memes like Kony 2012 or McKayla Maroney is not impressed gained and lost momentum within weeks.
"The speed with which these things happen doesn't cease to amaze me… It really made me think about the velocity with which we're operating right now, and the pace of popularity for some of these videos." Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager
"I think everyone's attention span in American is, at the best, quartered from where it was even five years ago. Absolutely…I think the kind of media we have now does really reward that intense instant obsessive focus." Shana Naomi Krochmal, Digital Producer, Current TV
Top memes of 2012 included South Korean rapper PSY's 'Gangnam Style,' texts from Hillary, ridiculously photogenic guy, overly attached girlfriend, McKayla Maroney is not impressed, and what people think I do.
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