I love social media for many reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is the ability to share humor. Humor is an essential feature in human communication, and it finds its way in our computer-mediated communication, as well. In fact, a recent study by Carr, Schrock, and Dauterman (2009) found that roughly 20% of Facebook statuses contained at least some humor.
I have been student of humor theory for many years, and I hope someday to get the opportunity to do some actual research about the interpersonal use of humor (whether online or face-to-face). Humor is a rich area of study, and its interpersonal uses are quite interesting. The three big classic humor theory camps are Superiority Theory, Relief Theory, and Incongruity Theory; they contemplate whether humor is to belittle others, relieve stress, or cognitively process dissonant ideas. One recent addition to the literature has been a focus on the concept of playfulness and/or benign violations. Okay, I’ll stop rambling…
All that being said, the internet and social media have given us an explosion of opportunities to engage with humor. Some of it’s good, some of it’s not-so-good, some of it’s silly, and some of it is chock-full of social commentary.
I’m not sure yet how I’d classify the following, but one thing is for sure … I laughed really hard when my wife sent me the link today. And in the end … it made me very thankful to be a part of this amazing social internet. Enjoy! =)