Falling into the depths of YouTube | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 23, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 23, 2017

Falling into the depths of YouTube

We've all been there. You went on YouTube to maybe watch a quick tutorial or an interesting TEDxTalk video that your friend gave you a link to. While you're watching, you briefly glance over at the suggestion videos on the right. Most of them seem fairly uninteresting or outright silly. But then, that one video, with a title or a thumbnail that puts all those clickbait news portals to shame, catches your eye. The cursor rushes across the screen and your index finger hammers down on the mouse. Five minutes later, the process repeats.

It starts off with something you're genuinely interested in.  Maybe it's a video about a cute dog doing cute things. Or maybe it's a mediocre cover of your favourite song by a three year old, except the title says “MUST WATCH! Young Talent BEST singer in the world”. (No offense to any three year olds reading this article). But as you continue to go from video to video, the contents just get more and more bizarre.

Eventually, you'll learn about 5 reasons why you should date someone who owns a pickup truck. Then you'll be fascinated by how sheep can learn to recognise the faces of celebrities from 2 different angles.

At some point, you may get some sense back and realise you've been watching nonsense. You also remember that you have an assignment due and you have to prepare a presentation. You make a firm decision to stop procrastinating and get your real life things that matter handled. But first, a quick listen to your second favourite song to get yourself energized before you close the tab, right? So you decide to go to “Despacito – Lyric Video” that you have bookmarked already.

Unfortunately, YouTube is a sneaky little fella and thanks to your previous YouTube marathon, you're quickly sucked into bizarre-land again by the mighty gravitational pull of YouTube's suggested videos. A good 2 hours later, you've seen so much that you feel you need to binge watch Rick and Morty while eating lots of green pizza.

Given sufficient time, you'll end up watching videos that are almost impossible to justify watching, yet are oddly magnetic. I remember once finding myself going through a playlist called “Japanese Bug Fights”. It indeed was what it seemed. Two insects were pitted against each other in a glass box as they fought to the death (Pokemon?), while a man enthusiastically commentated in Japanese.

I'll admit, it had a certain thrill about it that slightly eases my personal regret of ever watching that. Fortunately, the comments section was full of comments along the lines of “Why am I even watching this”, so I know I wasn't alone.

By the way, if sometime in the future, underground bug fighting leagues become a popular site for gambling, make sure to put all your money on the giant centipede. That thing is a beast.

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