Wasting time and learning from YouTube

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

How many of you brave souls begin a project, however simple or complicated, big or small, without consulting a YouTube video first?  Foolishly, on occasion I have, only to get frustrated and come sit at the computer to look up what are the necessary steps to success.

Each time I wonder about the person who is producing the video. Did they simply know everything about the solution to whatever problem or was it trial and error for them too?  Occasionally I read reviews, if there are any, about the video.  Often, they are not about the details of the project but rather the person relaying the information.  I watched a video recently trying to solve the mystery as to why our car failed to start on two occasions.  My husband replaced the battery, which had some age on it, just to be sure that wasn’t the cause.  Then, months later, the car failed to start again.

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I pulled up YouTube and plugged all the “symptoms” and found several videos addressing the same or similar problem.  The first video that I watched didn’t really seem to address the issue.  The second video had a fellow who was almost shouting his presentation.  He seemed to be addressing the issue in question, but his delivery was rambling and annoying.  I quickly looked at his reviews and nearly each one was critical of his delivery.  Like me, I doubt they watched the entire video.  And perhaps he really knew the issue, but not how to communicate. 

Next, I was lured to a car mechanic site that dealt with this particular problem of the vehicle not starting and it claimed there were four master mechanics waiting to address my problem.  I quickly typed in all the information and hit enter.  I received a swift response, reciting my issues back to me and the promise of advice on how to fix the problem.  Then, the next screen came on asking for $1 to connect me with one of the master mechanics.  Really? 

At first, I thought it seemed a cheap resolution to our problem, then I hesitated when I realized that I would have to hand over my credit card info to accomplish this $1 transaction.  Was I comfortable doing this?  No.  Do I think it was a legitimate situation that perhaps could have provided me with an answer to my car trouble?  Maybe.  Was I willing to try it?  No.   

There are so, so many opportunities for entertainment on YouTube.  You can waste many hours quite by accident should you tap on a video that catches your attention.  As they say, one thing leads to another!  

My brief research about YouTube videos leads me to conclude that most of the popular ones are of children for children.  Yes, probably some weary parents resort to these diversions for their kiddos.  And I feel certain that it’s safe to say, they too get drawn into the production.  Some that I’ve seen are so cute and clever.  And don’t forget there are probably thousands of YouTube videos about cats.  Very clever and a great stress reducer, too. 

Tune in.  Just don’t lose track of time.