It pains me greatly to see how the youth is squandering time on social media platforms particularly on YouTube in the lure of some easy money. When I see the kind of content and the number of views some videos garner, it amazes me and makes me question ourselves. We are gorging on sub-standard and dreadful content with great delight. I wonder if our consumption is an indication of our standards and choices. If it is, then I guess we cannot stoop any further.
I am not against consuming content for entertainment. I understand that entertainment comes in different forms and shapes and getting entertained is one of our core needs. But since YouTube is an open platform, it serves you any kind of video that its algorithm finds best serves your needs. Most of the content that is served is below par and obnoxious to say the least. The content is served to you and most of the times you go with flow and tend to watch the video. It is very difficult to suddenly unwatch something even if you want to. That is what the catch is.
When I reflect after watching such videos, I feel that a precious amount of time of my life is wasted. Most of the times, I don’t derive the entertainment or learning that were my initial goals. The videos are extremely below average and cringe-inducing. It feels disgusting to have spent time on the endless scrolling and binge watching.
YouTube with its platform can be dangerously addictive. So much content, carefully or uncarefully crafted in videos, most which are extremely poorly censored, is enough to drive you mad. You have so much to consume, that you don’t know where to stop. This greed of consumption is a great motivator for filth creators who know they can create anything and that anything has the potential to be consumed. The platform is where the magic happens.
This huge consumption opportunity incentivises young people to jump on this bandwagon creating a deadly cocktail of huge consumption and creation. Precious young talent is being wasted on this platform. It is laughable that being a Youtuber is considered some sort of a job.
I am not suggesting that the platform has only degraded the quality of our youth and people in general, it has done potential when it is correctly utilized. But who the hell cares about how it is utilized when the money lies elsewhere.
I am also against the rise of cringe content and the creation of celebrities riding on the success of that. Many cringe creators have become successful and such people are increasingly being celebrated. When your success, popularity, love etc. is determined by algorithms and measured only by money, people will do anything to achieve these metrics. Can YouTube create algorithms that measure decency, respect, quality, humility, and humanness? Until and unless we create algorithms that measure the fundamentals of goodness, we will only be creating poor platforms that will create poor content and poor creators.