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The Internet Fads That Are Sticking Around for Good

Back before the Internet took the world by storm, fads came and went over the course of a few years.  For example, poodle skirts, tie-dye, and midriff-baring shirts all had their time and place, and took at least a year or two to be cycled out of the “trendy” category.  That was our understanding of the nature of fads; they’d stick around for a year or two, only to disappear until fashionistas recycled these forgotten fashions as trendy again.


However, the introduction of the Internet has totally revamped the way people look at fads.  Rather than being something that takes a few years to be cycled out of popular culture, the Internet has made it possible for something to be wildly popular over the course of a few weeks, only to disappear as quickly as they first came.  Consider the fate of these Internet fads, which came and went over the course of mere weeks over the past few years:


  • Rebecca Black took the world by storm – for better or for worse – with her heavily auto-tuned song “Friday.”  The simplistic lyrics of this song, combined with the laughable music video, were so bad that it was good – really good.  Suddenly, the world was singing this song, and Rebecca Black was on every single talk show imaginable. However, after a mere month of being a YouTube sensation, she suddenly disappeared just as quickly as she appeared, despite appearing in a Katy Perry music video and releasing a second, more serious single.


  • Planking is another Internet fad that came and went in just the blink of an eye.  Planking referred to the act of laying straight across an object in a plank position.  While this sounds boring and innocent enough, the real challenge was in finding unique places to execute these planking positions.  After a few months, planking was out, and Tebow’ing was in (the act of bending on your knee in prayer like NFL football player Tim Tebow).  That quickly became just another Internet fad, especially when Tebow began to falter in his performance on the New York Jets team.  Now the latest take on planking is the Superman, which involves striking the legendary pose in unique and oftentimes dangerous locations (Google it when you have the chance).


While these Internet fads and sensations have come and gone quickly enough, there are some so-called fads that look to stay put for some time.  From Internet-enabled technologies to what’s deemed as “cat culture,” take a look at the Internet “fads” that are turning out to have some real longevity:


  1. Internet faxing:  When Internet faxing was first introduced to the world, people thought that this fax from computer service wouldn’t last.  However, Internet faxing has been around for some time now, and it looks to become a permanent – and even preferred – way of doing business in the 21st-century.  Internet faxing makes it possible for users to send a fax from computer instead of a traditional faxing machine.  It’s a lot like sending an email; all you have to do is select a recipient, who can receive the online fax via email or through a traditional fax machine.  What’s more, sending a fax from computer is a lot more secure than sending a traditional fax, as you won’t have to worry who is looking at the confidential documents laying on the fax machine tray.


2. Internet cat culture:  When cat “memes” – or pictures of cats that are accompanied by funny or witty captions – hit the Internet, many people predicted that this fad would quickly pass.  However, cat memes are here to stay, and there even was a movie that was released about a famous cat that stars in several Internet memes.  Cute animals seem to be dominating the Internet, and have even inspired spin-off shows on television (Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl” and “Too Cute!” are just two examples of cat culture’s influence on popular media).


3. Web conferencing software:  When web conferencing software was first introduced to the world, many people believed that people would be too hesitant to use this technologies, as nothing could compare to a face-to-face meeting.  While people are still arguing this pivotal point, it’s important to note that web conferencing software’s popularity has skyrocketed.  It’s so popular that if you’re a business owner or employee, chances are that you’ve used this software for yourself.


When it comes to Internet fads, many come and go – however, in the case of Internet faxing, “cat culture,” and web conferencing software, it appears as though these “fads” are here to stay for good.


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