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  • This is a download from BBC learning English. To find out more visit our website

  • 6 Minute English From BBC Learning English dot com

  • Hello. I'm Neil. Welcome to 6 Minute English, where we like to share

  • Jokes, funny stories and cat videos

  • No, Robwe like to share six useful items of vocabulary.

  • Yes, that too. But first, check out this meme on my phone, NeilGrumpy Catit's

  • so cute! Shall I send it to you?

  • No, please don't! A meme is a picture or video with an amusing caption that a lot of people

  • share with each other online. Well, in this programme we're talking about why some online

  • content goes viral

  • and some doesn't. This cat is cute because it looks so grumpyand that means 'bad

  • tempered'.

  • An image, video, or other piece of information goes viral when it gets passed on very quickly

  • from person to person on the internet.

  • So first let's start with our quiz question, Neil. Can you tell me which was one of the

  • first videos to go viral on the internet? Was it

  • a) Charlie bit my finger, b) Sneezing Panda or

  • c) Dancing Baby?

  • I'm going to guess 'Sneezing Panda' – because I haven't seen any of those videos.

  • That's ridiculous Neil. Have you been living under a rock?

  • Look, I just don't find silly videos particularly cuteor funny.

  • OK, OK, no need to get grumpy about it. Let's move on. Why do so many peopleNeil excluded

  • enjoy sharing content online? Let's listen to Dr Jonah Berger, Marketing Professor at

  • the University of Pennsylvania and author of Contagious: Why things catch on, talking

  • about what motivates us to share.

  • Humans are social animals. Sharing allows us (to) feel connected to others. We share

  • emotions, which allow us to deepen the bonds we have with our peers and with our friends.

  • So it's all about being connected and deepening the bonds between ourselves and our peers.

  • Our peers are people the same age as ourselves who share the same social position in a group.

  • And we particularly like to share content that makes us feel emotional. Let's hear more

  • from Dr Jonah Berger about this.

  • High arousal emotions include things like anger and anxiety, but also excitement and

  • humour, low arousalsadness and contentment. [It] turns out that those high-arousal emotions

  • those emotions that fire us up and cause us to take actionalso drive us to share.

  • Arousal means 'to excite a particular feeling in somebody'. And emotions like anger and

  • anxiety tend to cause stronger feelings than sadness and contentment.

  • Righthigh-arousal emotions fire us upand to fire someone up means 'to make

  • someone excited and enthusiastic about something'. So when a video we see on the internet makes

  • us laughor makes us excited or angrythen we are more likely to share it with

  • others.

  • And sharing that emotion with others strengthens the connection or bond between us. That's

  • what Dr Berger's theory says anyway.

  • I'm surprised that sad things aren't passed on as much as, say, funny things.

  • Well, how often do you share sad videos with your peers?

  • Good point. I do tend to share content that makes me laughmore than sad or angry

  • stuff anyway. Like the Grumpy Cat meme. Can I show it to you now?

  • No.

  • OK. I'll just show you the caption. It says, "I purred once. It was terrible".

  • Yeah. Right. Hilarious, Rob. Now, can we have the answer to today's quiz question, please,

  • if you've finished amusing yourself?

  • OK. OK. Which was one of the first videos to go viral on the internet? Was it… a)

  • Charlie Bit my Finger, b) Sneezing Panda or c) Dancing Baby?

  • And I said 'Sneezing Panda'.

  • Well, it was actually Dancing Baby. This 3-dimensional animation of a baby dancing the cha-cha was

  • one of the first viral videos released in the late 1990s. Another popular one was the

  • Hamster Dance by Hampton the Hamster, which appeared in 1997.

  • Well, fascinating as all that sounds, shall we look back at the words we learned today,

  • Rob?

  • Sure. The first item was 'meme' – a picture or video with an amusing caption that a lot

  • of people share with each other online. For example, "I tried to show Neil a hilarious

  • meme about a grumpy cat."

  • The word 'meme' was actually invented by evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins to represent

  • an idea or concept that spreads in human culture in a similar way to a gene.

  • Fascinating. That sounds way too complicated, Neil. Let's move on to item number two – 'grumpy'

  • – I gave one example just now. But here's another one: "He's the grumpiest man I've

  • ever met."

  • I hope you're not talking about me, Rob. Number three – 'to go viral' – means 'an image,

  • video, or other piece of information that gets passed on very quickly from person to

  • person on the Internet'. For example, "What makes a video go viral?"

  • I don't know, NeilIf I knew how to make a viral video, I'd be a rich man by now!

  • Before computers and the internet we only talked about viral infections, didn't we?

  • "I've got a nasty viral infection so I'm not coming into work today."

  • Yeah, that's right. The connection is that both viral infections and viral memes spread

  • quickly!

  • OKnumber four. 'Peers' are people the same age as our selves who share the same

  • social position in a group.

  • For example, "Teenagers often worry about looking silly in front of their peers." Next

  • uparousalthat means 'to excite a particular feeling in somebody'.

  • We heard about high and low-arousal emotions. The verb is 'to arouse'. For example, "The

  • debate aroused strong feelings on both sides."

  • OK, finally – 'to fire someone up' means 'to make someone excited and enthusiastic

  • about something'. "I'm really fired up about today's vocabulary!"

  • Good to know, Rob. But it's time to go now, but please check out our Instagram, Twitter,

  • Facebook and YouTube pages.

  • Bye-bye!

  • Goodbye!

  • Shall we watch that 'dancing baby' now, Neil?

  • No.

This is a download from BBC learning English. To find out more visit our website

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B2 H-INT UK viral neil arousal grumpy share meme

What makes a video go viral? - BBC 6 Minute English With Subtitles

Video vocabulary