“Popular culture is the way of life in which and by which most people in any society live. In a democracy like the United States, it is the voice of the people — their likes and dislikes — that form the lifeblood of daily existence, of a way of life. Popular culture is the voice of democracy, democracy speaking and acting, the seedbed in which democracy grows. Popular culture democratizes society and makes democracy truly democratic. It is the everyday world around us: the mass media, entertainments, and diversions. It is our heroes, icons, rituals, everyday actions, psychology, and religion — our total life picture. It is the way of living we inherit, practice and modify as we please, and how we do it. It is the dreams we dream while asleep.”

- Ray Browne

Need to gain information about the Egyptian revolution, or do you just want to watch a video of a cat playing the keyboards? Ever since Youtube had arrived on the internet scene, many people, including myself, have wasted countless hours watching videos which can be either informative or entertaining; sometimes both. After going around from one link to another, you build up a huge library of catch phrases such as “Charlie bit me!” or a date base of silly and humorous songs like “J*zz in My Pants.” These pieces of information that are available to anyone around the world form together the pieces of the puzzle that is the global pop culture.

Youtube opened up a new method of self expression and exploration, this need to communicate or exigency was fulfilled with this new technology. This meant that exchange happened through this new tool, allowing people around the world to connect with each other regardless of race, gender, or creed (Bloom and Johnston).

This agency of self expression brought many people together on the same platform; therefore, ideas spread quickly. Because of today’s internet age and its speed, a video can easily gain a million views in less than 24 hours, if it’s viral. A viral video is a video that becomes very popular due to the process of sharing or linking. This video could be about anything from music or standup, to a miscellaneous homemade videos (Merriam Webster).

The ability to spread so quickly has helped people create a new form of culture that was online and managed to bring it to the offline life. Friends would often gather and watch videos together as entertainment, disregarding other forms of traditional media for entertainment. According to a study done by BBC, “Some 43% of Britons who watch video from the internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less normal TV as a result,”(BBC).

This means that the internet now has its own culture and its own effect on people that is independent from other traditional mediums such as TV and Magazines. This new-found internet culture created a virtual community that has its own needs that have to be satisfied by the internet, just as kids in the 80’s and 90’s had needs that had to be satisfied by the television(Druik).

The widespread of the internet means that due to globalization, a popular video that is considered part of American online culture will also be vital to another group of people somewhere else around the globe. This global online umbrella can be used to bring different groups around the world virtually closer to each other and as a method of global cultural exchange (Burgess).

This global instrument brought to American culture the richness of anime. Americans would often watch Japanese shows on Youtube such as Naruto, Bleach and Death Notes and enjoy them even though it’s not part of their own culture. This American infatuation with anime lead to the creation of ‘cons’ or anime conventions in order for the members of the virtual community meet and discuss their passion for anime in real life. It was estimated that in 2009 “comicon” in America about 44,000 people attended (Animecon).


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Bloom, Kristen, and Kelly Marie Johnston. "Digging into YouTube Videos: Using Media Literacy and Participatory Culture to Promote Cross-
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Burgess, Jean. "8) 'All Your Chocolate Rain Are Belong to Us?' Viral Video, YouTube and the Dynamics of Participatory Culture." Institute of Network Cultures: 101-09. QUT. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://>.

"Viral - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary." Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Web. 30 May 2011. <>.

Delahanty, Patrick. "Ten Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2009." Web. 30 May 2011. <>.