Sh!t People Say?!

Around this time last year YouTube went viral with these videos titled Sh*t People Say, where a group of people created videos that were themed around a certain stereotype and essentially made fun them through sarcastic and cliché phrases. It all started with the Sh*t girls say video and ever since then countless of imitations have been made. This meme was basically replicated through viewers trying to create imitations of different types of Sh*t people say videos. A couple examples of videos that were replicated were, Sh*t boys say, Sh*t nobody says, Sh*t parents don’t say, and the list goes on and on. Basically if you were to search YouTube I could almost guarantee that you could find at least one video on a particular stereotype of your choice.

I would say this meme does mainly exist in a realm of ideas because there is no behavioral aspect to it. A behavioral aspect would consist of the video producing a specific action or trend among the viewers, and with this particular video none were produced.

This is a still shot from one of the Sh!t people say videos.

According to Dawkins, he says that memes “come about through variation and combination of old ones – either inside one person’s mind, or when memes are passed from person to person”(Dawkins 15).  In particular this meme only became viral for this reason, because viewers combined the ideas from previous videos with their own to create new ones. That being said, since this meme is fairly new to society, it hasn’t really had a chance to evolve into a bigger sensation just yet. Though when it initially became popular it evolved very quickly. Since so many different variations were made on different topics, it almost became a sort of self-replicating meme. I personally believe that this meme became so widely replicated because its original video has gotten 17,696,704 views on YouTube to this day. This meme was obviously set to attract to a teenager/ college student audience so it became a video that was extremely humorous to them because it was so relatable. This is one factor that contributed to its success, but I know for me personally my friends and I would watch these for hours because they were so funny.  Since this meme also feeds off of stereotypes people really enjoyed watching them because it made fun of the typical stereotypes.

I would say that this particular meme in not part of a larger memeplex as of now. Though after doing some research I found out that there was a TV series a while back called Sh!t my Dad says which had the same premise as these YouTube videos, but failed dramatically. So it actually turns out that this craze which took off during last semester is actually a mutation of the TV series. Will this particular meme survive? According to Blackmore, “memes spread themselves around indiscriminately without regard to whether they are useful, neutral, or positively harmful to us” (Blackmore 7). In that regard I am not too sure yet if this meme will continue to survive because it at one point already died and mutated, but it is interesting to see if the same thing will happen again.

Dawkins, R. (1999). “Forward” in Blackmore, S. J. (1999). The meme machine. Oxford [England: Oxford University Press.

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