Drawing the line on “do it for the Vine”


Claudia Vera, Co-Features Editor

Internet humor often spreads like wildfire – Uttering the phrase “or nah?” can go from a simple question to a worldwide phenomenon in a mere 24 hours. Suddenly, adolescents across the globe find themselves ending every sentence with these words. The world trembles as incessant “gas-peddling” and “twerking” causes earthquakes of gargantuan proportions. Chaos erupts. Teenagers scream “get out me car” to strangers, leaving them in the dust with the faint echoing of “broom, broom.” Anarchy has taken over.

Where does the origin of this mayhem lie?

The answer rests in Vine, a social media application that enables users to share, like and “re-vine” seven-second video clips of anything and everything. While the app promotes the sharing of creativity and clever humor, it has also become the breeding ground of a far more upsetting trend: the use of demeaning jokes to acquire “Internet fame”.

Scrolling through my “feed,” I find peers reposting Vines that they consider “humorous.” This ranges from children filming themselves bullying their classmates, to teenagers disrespecting their parents and of course, to the most popular of them all… “(racial/ethnic group) be like.”  These short clips are flooded with comments that include expressions of laughter and shock, along with a sea of “laughing-until-I-cry” emojis. Furthermore, I find the hundreds of thousands of “re-vines” and “likes,” all exploiting sexist, racist and downright sadistic actions to be atrocious.

I question our youth when I see a seven second video of someone abusing an unsuspecting stranger just to get some “laughs.” Or, when I witness a clip of two teenage boys dressed in female clothing, performing ridiculously stereotypical acts that imply women are inferior to men, paired with the illiterate caption of “girls be like.” Explain to me why disrespect has become the latest trend? Apparently, I missed the memo stating that one must be unkind in order to be considered funny.

By re-vining and liking videos that are, at the end of the day, demeaning, we fuel the fire of this newfound  sadistic humor epidemic. Instead, use Vine and other powerful social media apps to encourage positive change or even to simply post a silly, kindhearted comedic clip. Social media is a dangerously powerful tool, and that power rests in the users’ hands. So, the next time you scroll through your feed and come across a rude clip that seems to be begging for re-vines, ask yourself: Should I do it for the Vine…or nah?