Video killed the article star

When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want.
~Steve Jobs

Why do people prefer videos to articles? It seems like every time I try to find instructions for something, I get large numbers of Youtube videos and few articles. Even the links that look like articles are videos sometimes.

I much prefer reading to watching. I can read much faster than I can watch a how-to video, and it’s easier for me to skim to the pertinent shit than sit there and watch some guy blather on about how a new faucet will make my crappy late 70’s bathroom look god damn amazing. I. don’t. care. Even with crochet, I’d much rather read the article, then decide for myself if I need to watch a video to get some vague motion down.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just DIY projects and how-to. But do I really need to watch a video of still images and short clips while someone reads aloud what I could’ve read myself in a quarter of the time?

Check this shit out.

This is an article. For some bizarre reason, it is instead a Youtube video. The guy’s got a fantastic voice, and I’ll admit I listened to a number of these while crocheting, but it’s a damn article being read aloud. Take that fantastic voice and record some audiobooks, dude.

Skip to a random point in this one if you’re not interested in some excellent commentary on Half-Life 2. THIS IS A PROPER VIDEO. The visual portion of this video is absolutely integral to understanding the audio. He’s not just talking about how great HL2 is, he’s going over specific points in detail, and needs to illustrate them with clips from the game. The bit with the Barneys about forty minutes in still cracks me up.

Theoretically, this content could have been made into an article, but his delivery is a substantial part of the humor. Therefore, this is also a proper video.

I don’t know why this is a thing. It’s reflected in the pervasiveness of television over books, as well. Perhaps most people just prefer to passively absorb media via video than do the mental work involved in reading it. That does not mean, however, I won’t bitch about people turning perfectly good articles or blog posts into Youtube videos.

What’s sad is that I’m in the minority and am doomed to shout ineffectually at the uncaring sky.

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2 Responses to “Video killed the article star”

  1. Denise Says:

    I agree with you here. You can’t just read a news article, either.

  2. I much prefer reading as well! But it also seems that people prefer short videos. The longer videos require a greater attention span and more brain power, which of course, many nowadays don’t have or don’t wish to use. There’s a book I want to read called “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.” It’s not totally related to this but it was written thirty years ago and seems to still hold water.

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