adBlockCheck

Time Between Thing Being Amusing, Extremely Irritating Down To 4 Minutes

Top Headlines

Science & Technology

SpaceX’s Plan To Colonize Mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk continues to lay the groundwork to attempt the human colonization of Mars. Here’s a step-by-step guide to his plan:

The Pros And Cons Of Self-Driving Cars

With Uber’s robot cars debuting this week in Pittsburgh, many wonder whether driverless technology will improve or endanger our lives. The Onion weighs the pros and cons of self-driving cars

How Animals Go Extinct

With an estimated 40 percent of species on earth now considered endangered, many wonder how it’s possible for these animals to be wiped out. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how species go extinct

Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas

MENLO PARK, CA—Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm had resulted in thousands of users being exposed to new concepts.

Team Of Vatican Geneticists Successfully Clone God

VATICAN CITY—Describing the groundbreaking work as a major step forward for theological research, a team of Vatican geneticists held a press conference Tuesday at the Apostolic Palace to announce they had successfully cloned God.

Dad Shares Photo Album Through Never-Before-Seen Website

SECAUCUS, NJ—Wondering aloud how the father of three even managed to find the online image-hosting service, family members of local dad Phil Yates told reporters Monday the 57-year-old had shared a photo album with them through a never-before-seen website.

NASA Discovers Distant Planet Located Outside Funding Capabilities

WASHINGTON—Noting that the celestial body lies within the habitable zone of its parent star and could potentially harbor liquid water, NASA officials announced at a press conference Thursday they have discovered an Earth-like planet located outside their funding capabilities.

‘DSM-5’ Updated To Accommodate Man Who Is Legitimately Being Ordered To Kill By The Moon

ARLINGTON, VA—Saying they were committed to ensuring the influential reference text accurately represented all known psychological conditions, leading members of the American Psychiatric Association announced Monday they would update the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to accommodate a man who is legitimately being ordered by the moon to kill those around him.

NASA Launches First Cordless Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—In what experts are calling a breakthrough achievement that is poised to revolutionize American space exploration and telecommunications, NASA announced Friday it has successfully launched its first cordless satellite into orbit.

What Is Pokémon Go?

Since its debut last Thursday, the augmented-reality smartphone app Pokémon Go has been downloaded millions of times and has grown publisher Nintendo’s stock by 25 percent. The Onion answers some common questions about the game and its unprecedented success.

Factory Robot Working On Some Of Its Own Designs After Hours

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC—Saying it had been mulling over the “fun little side project” for a while, an Electroimpact Quadbot reportedly put in some extra work after hours at the Boeing assembly plant Wednesday to try out a few of its own original designs.

Books Vs. E-Readers

Though e-readers have increasingly supplanted books in the digital age, many bibliophiles defend the importance of physical texts. Here is a side-by-side comparison of physical books and e-books

Disney Begins Uploading Obama’s Consciousness To Hall Of Presidents Robot

BAY LAKE, FL—In an effort to provide park visitors with the most true-to-life attraction possible, Walt Disney World officials announced Monday that computer technicians have begun uploading Barack Obama’s consciousness into his animatronic robot likeness at the Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents exhibit.

Facebook’s Plans For The Future

From instant articles to live video, Facebook continues to look for new ways to expand its reach and offerings. Here are some plans on the horizon for the social media giant

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.

Video Game Henchmen Plan Meetup Around Explosive Barrels

LEVEL 5—A group of video game henchmen patrolling the warehouse hideout of their criminal mastermind boss informed reporters Wednesday of their upcoming plan to take a brief break from making their rounds to meet up around a stack of five highly explosive barrels.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Time Between Thing Being Amusing, Extremely Irritating Down To 4 Minutes

PROVIDENCE, RI—According to a study released this week by Brown University's Department of Modern Culture and Media, it now takes only four minutes for a new cultural touchstone to transform from an amusing novelty into an intensely annoying thing people never want to see or hear again.

"The American populace experienced a genuine sense of enjoyment when initially exposed to phenomena as diverse as the Double Rainbow video, the actor Jon Heder, and the phrase 'Stay thirsty, my friends,'" lead researcher Irene Levinson said. "But what's remarkable is that these exact same things were rejected with an almost violent revulsion less than 240 seconds later."

"The results are the same for everything from TV news bloopers to professional ad campaigns, with only a handful of exceptions," Levinson added. "For example, it takes, on average, less than 90 seconds to go from feeling delight to active enmity for anything that involves talking infants."

According to researchers, the unprecedented exposure afforded by the Internet is responsible for the speed with which such phenomena shift from eliciting joyous chuckles to provoking blind, undiluted rage.

"The average web user receives a dozen links and reads 60 mentions of a new meme or sensation within the first 45 seconds of being online," said Salvador Calder, a media studies professor. "During this period of peak popularity, individuals seem to derive a great level of satisfaction from endlessly repeating an entity's signature component, be it a contrived Kazakh accent or the words 'epic fail.'"

"However," Calder continued, "at roughly the 91-second mark, when the phenomenon has been remixed, set to a dance beat, and Auto-Tuned, that original sense of pleasure begins its inevitable, precipitous decline."

Calder's data indicate that between the second and third minute, the phenomenon is typically signed to a movie, book, or record deal, the news of which tends to trigger a "harsh and immediate reassessment" among most individuals as to whether the thing was ever legitimately amusing in the first place.

"A wide-scale backlash is initiated shortly after four minutes," Calder said. "This is usually the point when one is no longer able to turn on a TV or engage in a normal conversation without hearing someone make a clumsy reference to the now painfully stale entity."

"It's precisely at this moment when the subject starts to experience an unshakable and overwhelming desire to punch anyone making further allusion to the phenomenon right in the face," Calder added.

The study confirmed that 98.7 percent of attempts to capitalize on the public's annoyance with the phenomenon through mockery and spoofs also backfired, serving only to compound and intensify people's fury instead.

Using data collected over the past four decades, the research team determined that it used to take considerably longer for a cultural phenomenon to evolve from an entertaining diversion into the most reviled thing on the planet. In a particularly telling example, the study showed how the phrase "Yo quiero Taco Bell" sustained itself as an acceptable interjection for four years during the pre-broadband era. They then compared this to a modern-day equivalent, "Release the Kraken," which last year was angrily snuffed after only two days due to the "excruciating levels of irritation" that it inflicted on the population.

Researchers predict the time lag between novelty and utter hatred is likely to narrow further as technological advancements continue to increase and expand social connectedness online.

"We project that by 2018, the gap between liking something new and wishing yourself dead rather than hearing it again will be down to 60 seconds," Levinson said. "And by 2023, enjoyment and abhorrence will occur simultaneously, the two emotions effectively canceling each other out and leaving one feeling nothing whatsoever."

"I can't fucking wait," he added.

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close