You can build an immunity to viral videos


POSTED: Monday, March 02, 2009

At the ever-so-slight risk of sounding immodest, we Digital Slobs have figured out a solution to the nation's seemingly intractable economic ills.

No need to thank us. It wasn't that hard. We've had plenty of free time because “;American Idol”; has really gone downhill this season.

Turns out, we consume more and more while producing less and less due to a psychosocial sickness that progresses like any infection and is often spread just like the common cold.

I'm speaking of viral video.

Oh, laugh if you want, but keep in mind that only spreads this affliction, and the first step to recovery is admitting you watch “;Stains the Cupcake Dog”; at least 47 times a day online—not including remixes.

Fueled by the primal need to break from pre-layoff anxiety by bonding with their fellow man, countless workers wander into foreign cubicles every day to witness others watch cat videos or SNL shorts for the first time—often at rates well beyond the point of obnoxiousness.

Let's say you're at your terminal doing something productive like, I dunno, processing payroll or bilking investors for millions of dollars with a Ponzi scheme, and someone strolls over (for the sake of argument, let's call this someone “;me”;).

“;Me”; commands you to drop everything and search YouTube for nonsensical phrases like “;grape stomp”; or “;boom goes the dynamite.”;

And if after several minutes of viewing you don't laugh in a genuine manner, this “;me”; person will return again and again with new marching orders until you manifest the desired reaction.

Once said reaction is attained, your brain releases high levels of dopamine that compels you to then bring others into video-clip nirvana, and the cycle repeats until the entire office is infected.

The measles do exactly the same thing to your lymphatic system.

But the good news is that, like childhood diseases, the treatment for this Digital Age ailment is similarly basic and effective.

You can inoculate prospective hires by making them first click the links to all the top viral videos at youshouldhaveseenthis.com as a condition of employment. This Web site prides itself as “;Greg Rutter's Definitive List of the 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced on the Internet Unless You're a Loser or Old or Something.”;

This will build up their “;yeah, I've seen that already”; immunity.

For those already in your corporate family, corral them all into a controlled environment and let the site work its way through their systems.

Of course, viral videos mutate hourly, so it might be a good idea to routinely send your staff on weekend retreats (AIG execs rave about the St. Regis Resort south of Los Angeles) for extended working vacations where they can share the latest viral videos in between five-star dining and spa treatments.

Yes, it sounds costly and unproductive in the short term, especially in these hard economic times. But as they say, you have to not make money in order to not lose money.

At least I think that's what top economic minds are saying they say now.


Subscribe to columnist Curt Brandao's Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/digitalslob.