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Do Not Read.

With all honesty, utmost sincerity and boundless respect, just don't read this. Amidst today's new operating system of networked individualism, 'going viral' is a prominent buzzword in online culture. This article showcases a fundamental shift in media, where participatory culture is evolving to involve the consumer more than ever before. The consumer of media is directly addressed to and actively partakes in the content, leading to wider circulation and sharing.

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I guess you didn’t read the title. Fellow human, allow me to reiterate. Stop reading; this article has literally nothing to read about.

Barstool Sports / Via giphy.com

Ahh, the human brain – it will do precisely what it is told not to. In case you are thinking that the article will go on to reveal a life-hack or joke to those that scroll further, be advised that this is untrue. You are probably considering scrolling down to the end to be sure. Go ahead. There are no rewards.

WNBA / Via giphy.com

Actually, I don’t blame you. This is a dominant trait of social media in general; mindless scrolling can be pretty addictive.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

Viral culture at its best. It's on the Internet, people have seen it and I must too. Can. Not. Stop.

Ana Caro / Via giphy.com

Get what I mean? Even though you know that there is most probably no point to it, you keep scrolling for two reasons: hope and fear. You hope that there might be some point to it after all and fear missing out on that point should you stop scrolling. Deep.

Election 2016 / Via giphy.com

Seriously, there is nothing exciting coming up. See?

Reddit / Via giphy.com

By the way, if you haven’t noticed already, even the gifs have absolutely nothing to do with the actual text. I’m sure, though, that your brain keeps trying to (or has been able to) establish a connection because that’s what you expect out of BuzzFeed articles.

Reddit / Via giphy.com

Blah.

I applaud your stubbornness. You’re still here. If you have the time to be going through this, imagine the endless possibilities and opportunities that await.

James Proctor / Via giphy.com

Alas, you choose to stay. Think of all the things that you can be doing right now. I can almost guarantee that any of those things is more productive than this.

Java Doodles / Via giphy.com

Okay, if you read any further, you’re definitely on your way to becoming a criminal. You see, reading leads to knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power results in corruption. Corruption is a CRIME!

Reddit / Via giphy.com

A puppy dies for each word you read.

Rabbids / Via giphy.com

That didn’t work either? Hasn’t your brain started twitching yet? Or do you feel that you’ve invested too much time and effort to not keep going until the end? Or are you realizing that the previous gif actually had something to do with what was written? Don’t bother looking back. I’m just kidding – it doesn’t.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

Awaken, reader. Do not let your mind take control of you.

Mighty Oak / Via giphy.com

Anyway, let me add a little meaning to your time here. Congratulations on reading a whooping grand total of 500 words. Now good luck figuring out what you just read.

TV Land / Via giphy.com

By the way, I added the "blah" to make the word count add up to 500 (including this). 500, as a round figure, just sounds more life-changing (excluding this).

Tying this back into the realm of viral culture, you can see how content is increasingly becoming participatory and walking with the consumer rather than directing them. For the next team you come across viral content, be sure to evaluate its participatory nature!

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