Power-law effect and “drug” usage?

The other day I was on Facebook and saw an article about a new fad called “Beezing”, which basically is when someone takes Burts Bees Chap Stick and puts it on their eye lids.  This article basically talked about how beezing is a new way teens are getting high and went into detail about how it is done.  The interesting thing is that beezing has been around forever.  There were idiots in my high school who used to do it, and the rest of us would laugh and point out how strange it was.  That was years ago and I have not heard of it again since.  Now I see this article on Facebook that 20 thousand or so people have liked, so I click the link and read it, just like everyone else.  Now I have noticed that when walking around campus, beezing has been a topic of discussion going around.  So this old, stupid fad, is becoming popular again, because the power-law effect is increasing the popularity of this article.  I found this particularly interesting because it happened at the exact same time we were learning about this topic in class, and how the power-law effect causes things to become popular based on the fact that they are already popular.  Using Urban Dictionary (which has definitions to various popular phrases) to back up my case, the article for beezing was created in 2010, four years before this sudden outburst of popularity.  The power-law effect is also causing multiple news sites to talk about this topic, because they are seeing how popular the topic has been.  So basically we have a power-law effect causing another power-law effect.

Below are links to the various articles that have been posted in the last few days about beezing along with the urban dictionary definition.

 

http://voxxi.com/2014/05/02/beezing-chapstick-get-high/

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/b/Beezing.htm#.U2cGevldUeE

http://gothamist.com/2014/04/25/beezin_aint_e-zee_a_minty_recovery.php

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Beezing

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2 thoughts on “Power-law effect and “drug” usage?”

  1. This is an interesting take on the power-law effect because it involves a topic that is very stupid and irresponsible, yet, kids are encouraging the growth of it because it has become a topic of discussion, and therefore, becomes a more popular trend. It is intriguing to see how small things can become known throughout the country quickly because of the connectivity of Facebook and social networking sites.

  2. An interesting point can be made that power-law allows activities that are in essence idiotic to stick around due to prolonged media coverage and word of mouth.

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