As far as my memory goes, I have had an obsession with music. Already at 5 years old I was listening to music that was actually meant for people that were at least 3 times my age. I can remember that every time my mom would take me with her in her car there was a cassette tape playing with some Dancehall and R&B music recorded on it. This meant that for a long period of time, me and my mom would listen to the same 3 or 4 songs over and over again every time we took a ride. Later, when I was around 10 years old and CD’s had come into my life, I was able to expand my music collection and my mom was happy she could enjoy a little more variety of music when she brought me to school. But it wasn’t enough just yet, I wanted to see the artists doing their thing and I wanted to have access to video clips all the time and not spend hours of waiting in front of the TV until one of those music video came across on MTV, TMF or the Box. Then YouTube happened and I could forever look up any music video ever made within a few seconds.
How YouTube looked when I first used it:
I was happy to be able to look at videos of any kind any time I wanted to. Music videos, football videos and concerts were played over and over again. Amazed by the endless content and accessibility of videos that were not at all accessible before or only by buying DVD’s (which I did not have enough money for at that age). With being 23 years old right now and 10 years old when I first discovered YouTube I am just old enough to remember a time when that accessibility was something really special. Nowadays, people (with me included) look at YouTube as something self-evident and naturally there. Looking at videos that some random person just uploaded a minute ago seems like the most natural thing in the world but it actually is something really special.
Today, YouTube has evolved into a platform that is used by more than 2 billion users every month ( https://www.omnicoreagency.com/youtube-statistics/ ). It has also turned into a profession: YouTuber. There is criticism on the excessive use of digital media platforms like YouTube. I understand that advertising through YouTube videos that are directed at young children is a way to sell your product that can be at least called questionable. However, from a personal point of view I look at YouTube as something magical because of its endless accessibility to videos of all sort. Everyone could find something that is interesting to him or her. Features such as related videos and auto-play not only make it easy to fall into an endless pool of never ending videos to watch, they also make you discover new videos that you would otherwise never have clicked on or searched for.
YouTube will always stay a personal favorite when it comes to online media platforms because of its endless accessibility and content. YouTube basically means that you will never have an excuse to be bored!
How YouTube looks today:
While YouTube does offer a lot of differing content, don’t you feel like it’s all a bit samey. In the past, every video was unique and different. Nowadays every YouTuber is sponsored by Audible, they all ask you to subscribe, click the bell and SMASH the like button. The YouTube algorithm choses which video you’d like, based on all other videos you’ve watched, giving you the same content ad infinitum. I feel like the variety of the video (or at least their content) has shrunk enormously the past five years. Or is my nostalgia for the old YouTube blinding me?