Last week, when I went onto my watch history to try and find a video, I got a fright!
I had no idea that I had already watched an hour’s worth of videos that morning and that the day before, I’d managed to clock up 4 hours on YouTube.
That day, I decided to cut down on videos. For sure, they’re a chill form of entertainment that you can squeeze into your little breaks, but they are a passive and mind-numbing consumption habit.
Videos Aren’t All Bad…
I love videos as much as the next person – they are engaging young people in many issues from global warming to philosophy; politics to psychology.
They are a way for the world to seem connected, to bring awareness of wider issues, to share all moments from the important to the funny to the mundane.
However, a lot of people (myself included) use YouTube as a means of escaping and forgetting about the real world. We are not learning anything – just reaffirming our life views and absorbing useless information just because our favourite YouTubers happen to be talking about them.
We are well within our comfort zone, so it’s easy for us to switch off. Once we’ve watched one video, we automatically move to the next one: both YouTube and our brains are on autoplay. It’s a time-consuming and dulling habit.
What To Do?
So when I scrolled down the list of videos I watched, I thought about how those hours could have been spent.
Isn’t it better to create something through art or writing? Or to step out and explore the world (or even better, yourself)? Learn a language? Practice an instrument?
That’s not to say that watching videos is bad for you – you can actively learn something (for example TED talks or Crash Course are excellent) but if you watch them absentmindedly, you will not get value for your time.
Similarly, making videos is an excellent pastime and watching videos can help you improve your filmmaking but again you can’t gain what you seek if you don’t watch videos actively.
Chilling by watching a video or two is also fine – but you know there’s a problem when I’m spending two hours in bed watching videos.
Why do you watch videos? What are your favourite types? Do you watch too many videos? Let me know in the comments!