Contagious brings many thoughts to mind for most people. Some may think of laughter and others of religion. Agam Berry is keen on the idea of how trends get started, how fads move and how things catch on. Here he presents an expose on how catchy things are “contagious”.
Some totally tubular thoughts
When a buzzword or catch phrase appears in the American Lexicon the penetration is deep and effective. One would not have to go 5 minutes into the internet to see a contagious thing. Agam Berry illustrates this by asking Facebook users (catchy itself) if they have heard of “Candy Crush”. Most will say yes, and those who do not are not on Facebook. That phenomenon is the crux of the contagious conundrum.
Catchy things that spread like wildfire are new to this generation but not necessarily new to the human race. In the 1980’s for example, the “valley girl” contagion took the California coast by storm. It wasn’t long after that movies were sporting the colloquialisms. Before the nation saw what happened, the teen class had gone “radical, dude”.
How catchy becomes contagious
Common understanding can lead us to the answer to how catchy becomes contagious. Humans are pack-driven. We like to hang in groups. While in those groups, we want to see commonality. A common thread regarding thoughts, behaviors and so on leads to a comfortable ad predictable life situation. From that idea comes the understanding of catchy. “The Jones” family is the imagined success story with whom the rest of us would like to stand. That same application works for us wanting to be associated to a group.
How catchy comes and goes
So if the feeling of inclusiveness goes along with the contagiousness of commonality, then how does the “flavor of the day” become milquetoast and forgotten? That answer can be found at The Jones’ house.
The boredom factor
It does not take very long for an individual to grow weary of a word or thing or activity. It takes even less time for a group to tire of its current love. You have no doubt heard of the “fifteen minutes of fame” phenomenon. Agam Berry says that same rule applies to catchy contagions.
Is it ADD or is it just me?
Agam Berry likens the contagious tendency to the culture at large today. It is a result of the Information Age, which had its beginnings in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The faster the information superhighway ran the shorter the average attention span. Today, a teenager can be texting a person, following a map and making a restaurant reservation. That multitasking capability leaves us with a quick wit and an even quicker span of attention. It is not ADD as the heading suggests. It’s a patience level. If the world is moving at 100 miles per hour, a fad cannot go at 40 or 50 which they often do. Thus, today you are hot, tomorrow you are not. Groovy huh?