Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Michael Judy - Assignment #5


Planking (also known as "Lying Down Game" or "Extreme Lying Down") is a very popular internet meme that has been around for many years.  It's wide spread popularity is partial due to it's simplicity and ease of participation.  Simply put, "Planking is an activity consisting of lying face down - sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location" [1].  The term originates from the fact that people who are planking appear in a very straight and rigid position, like a plank of wood.  Below are some examples of people planking:

Dwight Howard Planking [2]
Man Planking on Escalator [3]

Despite planking's relatively recent popularity, it has actually been around for quite some time. Although social media web sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, are responsible for the widespread popularity of planking, planking originated long before the rise of Internet 2.0.  In fact, the first documented occurrence of planking is credited to Tom Green in 1994 when he performed a stunt for a cable TV show.  However, planking did not become a widespread social and internet phenomenon until 2007, when the first planking Facebook page was created, encouraging visitor and "friends" to post their craziest planking pictures [1].  The following image shows planking's search popularity on google.

Google Trend of Planking [4]

According to google, planking had about a year of high popularity, experiencing exponential growth, from mid 2011 to mid 2012, reaching a peak in August 2011.  This growth was facilitated by social media and celebrity interaction.  The meme became so popular that there have been multiple well-know and almost equally popular spin-offs of the meme.  Some of the more famous include the following:
Tebowing [5]
Batmanning [6]
and, as made famous by the creators of South Park:
Faithhilling [7]

No comments:

Post a Comment