The Starter Pack Trend

If you’ve even glanced at Twitter the past couple days, a new tweeting trend has erupted (in between posts of Kim Kardashian’s photoshoot): the Starter Pack Kits. Overnight, accounts have been created like @ItsStarterPacks, @thisstarterpack, @TheStartrPack, and @StartersPack, posting similar, or even identical, posts. The format is simple- post 4 images of clothing, hair styles, props, accessories, etc with the title, “The X Starter Pack”.

Many posts play on racial or gender stereotypes:

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Lots of users on Twitter have tweeted personalized posts about their friends or have created their own pop culture-related packs. And of course, there are hordes of imitators and re-posters.

The outbreak of this new social media fad relates to much of what we’ve learned in class– viral habits in the media from newspaper clippings to tweets, what’s considered “cool”, reinforcement of stereotypes, and how technology changes the way we communicate and share ideas.

As fast as the trend started, Starter Packs has already been bombarded with the “enough already” criticism. The faster technology advances, with millions of users able to observe and contribute instantaneously, the quicker fads will come and go, only to be replaced by the next viral hit.

In between all the starter packs and Kim’s rear, did you guys still manage to consume news as usual, or have social crazes become too distracting? Do you think news sources face a challenge with the rapidity of social media information sharing? Are posts like this harmless and all in good fun, or are they too influential in propagating stereotypes?

About mirandalsmith

UMass Amherst alum
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2 Responses to The Starter Pack Trend

  1. tmgilmore says:

    I just started to notice these Starter Packs on my Twitter feed. I just don’t get it. What is the point of that? How can something so stupid go viral, and where did it even begin? I guess we never know the answer when something trivial goes viral on any social media platforms.

    I know I should do a better job keeping up with the news on my own, but I will admit I get most of my information on the go on social media from different news sources’ accounts. Between Kim K’s rear and all the starter packs, I haven’t seen very much noteworthy news this week. I wouldn’t have thought about it without being asked, but it’s true.

    Most people who take part in fads like Starter Packs probably don’t think of the implications of the things they post. On social media, who doesn’t want to make people laugh and rack up some favorites? They don’t understand the complexity of posting a Starter Pack that have to do with race and other stereotypes. It may be harmless in their mind but with this constant flow of ambient information that everyone is receiving every minute of every day, these things stick. We see them over and over again, and on the surface they seem harmless but they carry over into our real lives, away from the social media feed.

  2. I definitely did see these Starter Packs on Twitter but it wasn’t to an overwhelming extent. I think I was still able to consume news as I normally do and not be too distracted by the other things going on in cyberspace. I really had no clue how or why the whole Starter Pack thing got started but even in just the past week I feel like it has gone away some and there hasn’t been many people tweeting or retweeting any form of the Starter Pack. It’s like you said, viral trends come and go so quickly that one day something could be so popular and talked about but then a couple of days later everyone has forgotten about it, talking instead about the ‘next big thing.’ I think there is absolutely a way to ignore all these stupid viral videos and pictures but it would take some serious effort and you would need to follow all the right (or wrong) people in order to miss all the stupid things and be exposed to quality news instead.

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