Friday, December 12, 2014

Plot Twist

It's a well-documented truth that internet comment threads are breeding grounds of negativity and bile, but there are some redeeming characteristics of the internet-mind-- for one, great creativity in unexpected areas.

An example of this that comes to mind is the idea of making up 'plot twists'. Internet memes and gifs tell stories or snapshots of stories, and speculation about these stories in comment threads are prefixed with the phrase 'plot twist:'. This is a mental exercise that emphasizes how important context is to any story. Thinking about plot twists in this way can be funny, but it also trains internet users to not accept statements and ideas at face value.

Here's a real example: a gif (short video) shows a person dressed as a ninja giving food to homeless people in Las Vegas. Someone reversed the gif and reposted it; now it appears that the ninja is taking food from homeless people.
The title of the post is: "Ninja steals food from the homeless"
One commenter says: Plot twist: ninja is homeless

If one assumes that the ninja in the reversed gif is homeless, the conclusion is that he's stealing food from the homeless for the homeless, so the action is seen as less wrong. Context is important.

Call it over-analyzing, but the way people interact on the internet can say a lot about what they value and how they think.

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