Social media more powerful than you think

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Damn Daniel. Listen intently and you may hear these words spoken in the distance. Maybe yelled, maybe whispered. Either way, this phrase heard ‘round the web is a reference to the series of Snapchat videos that’s releasing its rage onto the internet.

The short clips were composed into one video, which Josh Olzz uploaded to his Twitter on Feb. 15. It has already racked up hundreds of thousands of retweets.

The actual Daniel from the video is Daniel Lara, a high school student in Riverside, California. His Twitter now has upward of 300,000 followers.

On Sunday, Feb. 21, “Daniel” was trending with over one million tweets.

Maybe you don’t get it. Maybe you don’t even think the voice is funny. Either way, you know about it. The more retweets the video gets, the more people see it. It just grows and grows.

Twitter is the main platform that it spread through. It can also be found on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. It even transcends social media, sent through email and text.

Social media videos offer such entertaining, yet compressed content. They’re quick to view and easy to get lost in. We love to soak up mass amounts of information and this content propels this need.

Not only is it impossible to navigate social media without seeing this, it’s difficult to avoid it in real life.

Stores that sell white Vans are subject to selling Damn Daniels. Anybody named Daniel is in for a month of harassment. And most certainly, do not wear a Stussy shirt.

Songs remixing the audio have been uploaded to SoundCloud.

There are countless attempts of people trying to reenact the video. From guys sucking in helium to make their voice sound strange to a guy following around a girl saying “Damn Danielle.”

It allows people to become connected. When a tweet is sent out and gains popularity in real time, we’re forced to discuss it. We share it on our social media platforms and in person.

It’s the new water cooler culture. Let’s call it Sutter Dining Hall culture: to meet up with friends and discuss the tweets from the night before.

If you haven’t seen the video, it’s surprising. Even if you’re not on the platform, it’s all around you. You either participate by watching the video or are forced to feel left out.

Just as people would bond over a television show, people bond over social media posts because they’re happening in real time. People don’t sit down to watch an episode of “The Brady Bunch” together, they huddle around their phones to watch vines and make sure their Kendall and Kylie avatar is still alive.

Videos like this are always subject to face contrarians, which polarize the feed. In a sense, this is good for the popularity of the video. It’s like, as much as you want to ignore Donald Trump, you can’t help but eventually voice your opinion. Instead of ignoring it, you contribute to the trend, bringing awareness to it. You anger those that like it and associate with those that don’t.

Is this simply their 15 minutes of fame, or are they here to stay like many popular social media users?

Social media is no longer used to just share with our friends and family. We’re marketing ourselves to others.

Twitter users can reach a large crowd once they reach popularity and profit. The Expherience, for example, is a psychedelic Twitter account that started to sell clothing once it gained popularity. Twitter user Zach Williamson created multiple Twitter accounts that gained numerous followers. He used his posts as advertising space and then sold the accounts.

Social media celebrities are the new movie stars. As long as they keep updating their platforms, they’ll maintain relevancy.

It’s up to Daniel and Josh how they’ll use their new-found fame. Or whether it will even last.

Them aside, this shows how much of a catapult social media can be into the mainstream. Whether you like it or not, it’s going to continue to have a huge impact on your life.

Sam Rios can be reached at [email protected] or @theeemessiahon Twitter.