164/366 – The Internet Is Its Own Worst Hype Man
The ability for the internet to exponentially increase things is on no greater display than when the hype train rolls into online town to carry people to excitement and high expectation. Whether it’s a teaser trailer for a highly anticipated feature or game, an event that happens in a TV show that drives people crazy, or something completely amazing that happens on a sports broadcast, the hype that people can get to online is pretty damn high.
The problem with such high highs is that the fall from grace, if it happens, is a pretty steep one. The trailer for the movie or the game could turn out to be putting forth a ton of empty promises and be shown to be a mediocre product. The event on TV that’s expected is a letdown, or worse, causes a backlash against the show that they rarely can recover from (I’m looking at you, Arrow). The sports broadcast can downplay the amazing thing that just happened, or worse yet, discuss it to death to a point that it isn’t as hyped-up any longer.
The internet has a way of whipping up the hype into a big frenzy, whether that is via social media, active advertising campaigns, or simple charm or credibility. People upvote, retweet, and link what they or someone else did in an effort to build excitement or viral fame, and the rare gems that do this tend to bear the full brunt of internet interest – whether that is to be scrutinized constantly, praised too highly, or become the subject of a bunch of unwanted hatred. Either way, expectations are set pretty quickly, which means not delivering is honestly not an option. Disappointment due to hype being taken away, after all, is one of the worst kinds as you try to sort out what went wrong.
As hard as it is, I combat the internet hype train by being as objective and and calmly analytical as possible when looking at something that has a lot of hype behind it. That means I have to experience it for myself before coming to a judgment, staying away from the echo chambers that can exist online and generally just getting an idea of being in a place where it’s ok if you’re not as excited at first about what’s coming. Tempering expectations, especially in the wake of so much stimuli that threatens to overcome your senses, is not an easy task to do, but it’s a valuable one. The crash from hypeville, after all, is still pretty high, and no one ever really wants to take that tumble – mostly because they’d be a bit more cynical and less prone to genuine excitement – something that, in certain situations, is needed in order to truly appreciate what you have.