Confessions of a YouTube Junkie

Some people snort cocaine.  Others shoot up on heroin.  I watch YouTube videos.

As far as I know, there is no support group for people like me, and there are many of us.  If there were a support group, I suspect that the church basements where the meetings took place would be so tightly jam packed they would have to hire Japanese subway pushers to make room for new arrivals.

It has become almost a requirement, around the world, for anyone who has made a video of anything to post it on YouTube.

Did your crazy uncle say something stupid when you had the video camera going?  Put it on YouTube.

Did your neighbor’s security camera catch your cat in the act of stealing their Fruit of the Looms off their clothesline?  Put it on YouTube.

Do you have the world’s dumbest dog?  Put him on YouTube, so that the world can laugh at the unsuspecting animal with you.

Did your daughter, a soprano who you swear can sing better than Sarah Brightman, win an honorable mention in her school’s talent contest with her special rendition of the tenor aria “Nessun dorma?”  Make sure her performance goes on YouTube and try to make it go viral.

Can you summarize the entire history of pre-historic man in one 20-minute video?  Make that mini-documentary, claim that it is scientific, and put it on YouTube.

I don’t dare log onto YouTube.  I don’t dare, but I do it, anyway.  It only takes one YouTube video to send me into a binge.  I can’t help myself.

This is how it often happens:

One of my Facebook friends posts a video that I feel I must, for one reason or another, view in its entirety.  Clicking on the video leads me to YouTube.  YouTube automatically logs me on, which means that my entire library of saved videos is handy.  It also means that, over on the right side of the computer screen, there is a tantalizing list of videos that YouTube feels I might like to watch, based on the one I am watching now and the ones I have watched in the past.

I do my duty and watch my friend’s posted video.  Then, instead of going back onto Facebook, I look at the list of videos on the right side of the screen.  In the meantime, my computer is automatically playing the next video on the list because I have neglected to press STOP.  I’m that kind of person.

The list is eclectic, because I am one of those people who delights in learning all kinds of trivia about a lot of things, and my YouTube fare reflects that.  I can’t blame YouTube for this.  My brain is the perpetrator here.  It is infected with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.  I like little bits of quick knowledge about a lot of things, and I get bored easily when I am surfing.

What starts out as a viewing of a video posted on Facebook turns into a binge something like this one.  Bear in mind that most of these videos are short:

Mario Lanza singing a Neapolitan song
Enrico Caruso singing a Neapolitan song
The differences between Italian and Latin
How the ancient Romans pronounced Latin
The Romance Languages
The Slavic Languages
Billie Holliday singing “One for my Baby and One More for the Road”
Mahalia Jackson singing “On My Way (to Canaan Land)”
A mobster biography
Another mobster biography
Reconstructing the face of Cleopatra (who was sexy, but not all that beautiful)
Reconstructing the face of Julius Caesar (who looked like a typical bald Italian)
Why so many Europeans are part Neanderthal
Humanity’s genetic trails
Etc.

By the time I am finished, I have used up a couple of hours of my life, having fun and gaining mostly useless (for me) knowledge.  I haven’t figured out yet if I am enriching myself or wasting my life.  I suspect there are elements of both here.

I must stop now.  I just remembered that I was interrupted in my last YouTube binge and I want to go back and find what I was watching.


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