Alberto says: Viral phenomena are objects or patterns able to replicate themselves or convert other objects into copies of themselves when these objects are exposed to them. They get their name from the way that viruses propagate.
This has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information, and trends move into and through the whole world.
Memes are possibly the best-known example of informational viral patterns. We are all susceptible to the pull of viral ideas. Like mass hysteria. Or a tune that gets into your head that you keep on humming all day until you spread it to someone else. Jokes. Urban legends. Crackpot religions. Selfies. No matter how smart we get, there is always this deep irrational part that makes us potential hosts for self-replicating information.
The spread of viral phenomena are also regarded as part of the cultural, political, economic and social networking.
Various studies have pointed to the intensification in connectivity brought about by network technologies as a possible trigger for increased chances of infection from wide-ranging social, cultural, political, and economic contagions.
Enhanced by the rapidity and extensity of technological social networks, the spread of social conformity, political rumor, fads, fashions, gossip, and hype is rapid and indeed viral.