What You Hope Happens When You Share a YouTube VideoAll of us YouTube heroes should watch this video... and we should take notes. And that includes me, lest I get too full of myself ever, believing that potential is the same thing as accomplishment. In YouTube we all have the potential to share our brilliance and creativity with the World. That's a good thing! On the other hand, YouTube makes that sharing so easy, it so powerfully gives us access to being heard and heard so loudly, and dresses anyone's efforts at sharing his brilliance in such a fine, beautiful suit of the aesthetics of computer-driven publishing - frames everyone's efforts, that is, with the same professional looking trappings, that it's easy to succumb to the siren call of delusion and think the act of posting or sharing something, anything, is the same as having the insight and creativity to produce something worthy of being posted or shared. I know that's a pageful, but it's a truth that we'd do well to face.
You see, up to a point, this medium of YouTube is totally impartial. Your miserable footage of little Susie's 5th Birthday party, shot with your shaky left hand on your iPhone as you cut the cake with your right, and then uploaded without any editing. free of charge, is treated the same by YouTube as the trailer for the next 40 $$$ Million Dollar Summer Blockbuster from a major Hollywood studio. Any footage, so long as it was saved in a YouTube compatible file format, can be uploaded from someone's beat up old laptop to the YouTube server where it is posted and presented there among others; all of them treated equally: subjected to the same size standards, processed with same text editor for title and information, etc. etc. True media democracy.
This is all wonderful, EXCEPT... Except that it's SO easy for people who have nothing much to say, who haven't taken the time or invested the effort to have something to say, who are clueless about what the experience of having something to say is, and who can't distinguish between having something truly awkward and inconsequential in the extreme to share, and something that's actually worthy of one's fellow humans' time and attention. But these folks, and who could actually blame them, want to join the party - want to post something, to be part of it all, and at the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with that, other, that is, than the dribble they end up posting. But of course, WE have all developed our own brand of radar to counter that and end up only watching videos that we find interesting, quickly dumping out of the 'throwaways', in fact, avoiding them entirely, using telltale signs we perceive to detect inferior offerings before we even launch them.
To understand this phenomenon of vast and merciless oversharing of inconsequential items by the general population to its "friends" and connections, and to total stangers it hopes to win over as adminirers and friends and connection we need to understand that we're talking about something new. It's a behavior that's more challenging to understand and cope with than the well understood phenomenon of plagiarism. In this "Sharing" we see a human impulse that blinds us to the distinction between actually creating something and simply shouting (virtually) "Hey, look what I found! I'm the one who found it! Admire me for having the brilliance to recognize great stuff when I accidentally stumble across it! And love me for having the foresight and fortitude it took to invest a full minute in uploading it to my account or to share it from someone else's!
In this clever the little video, something that WAS created and that is original and a fresh take on YouTube sharing and how to explain it, we see both the reality and the fantasy associated with it. The fantasy is that the world will stop, stand up and cheer in undying, profound admiration for your brilliance for having shared a video of a chimp hugging a dog or of a swarm of hummingbird's drinking coke from a Red Solo cup or of a quick rundown of the Top Ten Paleo Recipes, all of these are shared videos that I actually just watched online in the past 10 minutes, by the way. The reality is that the world is so saturated with such videos and that the possibility of your doing something truly noteworthy through this approach is so minimal, that most people who do come across the video you shared will either be bored and/or unimpressed with your offering, or resent your wasting their time.
Lest you think that I am posing as a "Cleverer than Thou" sharer, myself - I'm referring to that that video at the top of this page that I didn't create, simply shared here, I fully understand , dear readers, that Yes, having embedded that video above puts me... (drum roll) "In Flagrant Dilecto" myself, of the Social Media Era crime of trying to grab a little digital limelight for my humdrum self through uninspired and uninspiring means.