It’s 2012 and in a few short months the world as we know it will come to an end. Well, at least according the Mayans and three-years’ worth of History Channel programming. The accounts of our impending doom have been around for a while, but what is fueling the ongoing conversation about the end of times? Look no further than your Twitter feed.
By now, we’ve all read about, re-read, Googled and come up with our own theories about the “Miami Zombie.” The story went viral, and within a couple of days, more strange accounts of person-biting-person incidents and crazed zombie-like behavior sprung up all over the country. There was the wig thief in Connecticut, another Miami man who tried to nom on an officer’s arm, a Louisiana man who bit off part of a his neighbor’s face and a New Jersey man who did something equally disturbing.
As we’ve all learned in the movies, this crazy, erratic, super-human chomping and flesh munching behavior is typical of your run-of-the-mill zombie.
But the Mayan’s centuries-old predictions and a few sketchy cases of “zombie-like” behavior, ultimately attributed to bath salts, is all we have to go on, right?
Oh, then there’s the plague.
But what makes these stories so interesting? It’s the proverbial man-bites-dog effect (biting reference coincidental). It’s just so strange, that we feel the need to share it with others. Within three days, the Miami zombie story on the Miami Herald’s site had over 2 million views. When a story like this explodes, it’s bound to spur more coverage of similar incidents. Mentions of the word “zombie” on Twitter went from an average 15,000 tweets a day to more than 80,000 mentions the day after the story broke.
The onslaught of “zombie” and human-on-human munching coverage afterward was a result of the virility of the original story. A story of man-bites-man garners over 2 million hits, so naturally we assume that similar reports will gain just as much coverage. Tweets, retweets and shares across all social media platforms keep the conversation alive. Retweets and favorites of the Oregon plague story on TIME’s Twitter feed almost matched the announcement of Obama’s new immigration policy, and, thee days later, is still one of the top Tweets regarding the story. It’s not that more apocalyptic events are happening more regularly, it’s just, as a whole, we eat this stuff up (pun intended).
So there’s no need to build that fall-out shelter just yet. But just in case all the hype turns out to be true, here’s a zombie survival guide for your reference. Good luck.
Until next time! -Anna C