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Can’t Stop Watching YouTube?
For those who can’t stop watching YouTube, beware that it is destroying your life. Firstly, YouTube is creating a new class of consumers. The YouTube videos will become your drug of choice. It encourages you to buy more than you need. Consumers are no different from parasites, layabouts, and rather good-for-nothing. Secondly, YouTube is highly gendered. Thirdly, it is strangling education. Therefore, if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will end up hurting yourself big time.
The information technology revolution has brought a tremendous revolution in the socio-economic and cultural aspects of life. Various platforms such as YouTube have changed, not only modes of business and education but also have changed perceptions and ideas.
For example, it offers the world’s best entertainment including songs, dramas, films, etc. for free with a click. This gives students and researchers from all over the world to share their ideas and even earn from them.
Besides, this platform offers great opportunities to businesses from all over the world to sell their products or create brand awareness through advertisements.
Overview of YouTube
Chad Hurley, Steve Chin, and Jawed Karim, three former PayPal employees founded YouTube in 2005. They wanted to build an online dating site but ended up creating an online video-sharing platform (Dredge, 2016). Soon it emerged as an all-important tool of consumerism. In 2006, nearly 20 months after its creation, Google wisely purchased this website for $1.65 billion.
According to Alexa Internet Rankings, YouTube is the second most visited website (Google is the most visited website). This video-sharing platform has more than 2 billion users. It caters to a variety of visitors; films, songs, dramas, sports, educational lectures, documentaries, political talks, video blogging, etc. (Newberry, 2021).
Today, YouTube is the second most visited platform after Google with 2.3 billion users. It exploits the economic dividends offered by over 2 billion users. It means you are one of the many addicts who can’t stop watching YouTube.
Old and Young both are Addicted to YouTube
Importantly, not only the young generation is addicted to YouTube (the millennials) but also the older adults. Nearly 81% of YouTube users have ages between 15 to 25.
Interestingly, 71% of people from age 26 to 35 use YouTube. The situation is no different when one talks about people from 36 to 46 because 67% of them are active users. 66% of YouTube users have ages between 46 to 55 while 58% of people older than 56 enjoy this platform (Newberry, (2021).
The thing that makes YouTube highly reachable is access to local languages. It offers services in more than 80 languages. In recent times, it has been trying to launch the local YouTube versions in more than 100 countries (Zote, 2020).
YouTube will Rise; You Dip
Another notable point is that in the near future, its traffic is expected to rise exponentially. In other words, the issue of media and consumerism will become more alarming. It is because most of its traffic comes from the United States (over 15%). The next country is India which provides 8.6% of its traffic. In the third position is Russia which makes 4.5% of its total traffic (Newberry, (2021).
Here, the point to ponder is that India along with other neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh has a huge population. As a matter of fact, they comprise about one-quarter of the global population (Zote, 2020). It means YouTube will further penetrate into the region and will gain millions of more users in near future.
1 billion Hour Watch Time per Hour
Today, YouTube’s total watch time per hour is roughly over 1 billion hours, 39% more than in 2019 (Zote, 2020). Moreover, more than 500 hours of video were uploaded every 60 seconds, a huge increase of 40% as compared to 2018 (Loke, 2019). That is why some of its videos have over 6 billion views (the global population is about 7.5 billion).
With the views, come ads that encourage you to buy brands to raise so-called status. In other words, if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will need to increase your income at least twofold.
It accounts for over 35% of global internet traffic along with Netflix which accounts for 15% of traffic (Newberry, (2021). Hence, it is quite conspicuous that YouTube is a highly influential media platform today.
YouTube and Covid-19 Pandemic
Like other media platforms such as Netflix, YouTube has also exploited the dividends offered by the novel Covid-19 pandemic. The audience on YouTube increased about 25% in just one month.
It was so momentous that it had cut bandwidth use of its service to cater to all the users. In other words, those who can’t stop watching YouTube have increased exponentially in the Covid-19 pandemic.
In other words, the quality of the videos was compromised to address the sudden surge in traffic (Gold, 2020). It is another hint that YouTube will become ever more pervasive and relevant.
Rise of Consumerism and YouTube
As already mentioned, YouTube has an appeal to all age groups, it has benefited a lot from this outreach. 77% of YouTube users in the United States use it which means they also watch various advertisements that users see before, inside, and after a video (Zote, 2020). These businesses (a class of producers) love those who can’t stop watching YouTube and become a class of consumers.
This shows that people are being endorsed by the media platform to buy those items. In fact, 62 percent of businesses use YouTube as a channel to market their products. Similarly, over 55% of businesses use YouTube ads to increase revenue.
YouTube Ads and Working Class Thinking
Through different advertisements, the working-class people think they can become a part of the upper class or look like them if they buy one thing or another. One person sees another one who is buying rather expensive televisions for every single room and this is where consumerism comes forth.
There is perhaps no need to have so many televisions in one home. In this situation, if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will end up fighting for scraps.
Influencers Like the Fact that You Can’t Stop Watching YouTube
Many researches show the audience strongly believes in the words of the influencer. It means if a person has committed followers, will buy something endorsed by the influencer. The person may recommend any new camera or mobile phone or anything else.
Between 2017 to 2018, over 70% of the users strongly followed and engaged with the influencers/content creators. It gives rise to purchase inspiration. Considering this, the YouTube influencers like their audience who can’t stop watching YouTube (Zote, 2020).
It means the audience sees their guru is recommending something and they develop a strong commitment to buying at the earliest. This is another form of consumerism which is a phenomenon of buying more and more even if no urgent need is there.
The Class of Consumers: What Karl Marx Feared
Storey in his (2018) “Cultural theory and popular culture: An introduction” talks about the theory of consumerism that is attached to the rise of social media and the information technology revolution.
The common people are becoming consumers while in another class, the owners of giant companies are sellers. They use these media platforms to convince the common people to buy their products. In other words, content creators cherish the fact that you can’t stop watching YouTube.
Karl Marx in his magnum opus The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital first time expounded on the phenomenon of consumerism and its various downsides.
He believed the current wave of globalization, urbanization, and Internationalization will divide the world into two classes, the buyers or consumers and the sellers (Storey, 2018). The former will buy more than necessary things and the latter will produce more than required items only to maximize wealth.
1.4 Billion People are Obese or Overweight,
If you can’t stop watching YouTube, know that today more than 1.4 billion people are obese or overweight, more than at any time in human history (UNO, 2021). Obesity is one of the potential hazards of YouTube-driven consumerism. An enticing ad pops up and you order a pizza, burger, or anything.
With this, the consumers will remain poor and even continue to decrease their wealth by buying things. On the other hand, the rich and factory-owning class will become opulently rich which creates a class division. He termed this social conflict theory.
YouTube as a Tool for Brand Awareness
More than 90% of the shoppers discover a brand through YouTube. Whenever one watches a video, there are different kinds of ads, skippable video ads, display ads, bumper ads, or overlay ads. This has given birth to a new form of marketing, colloquially termed social media marketing. This marketing makes sure that you can’t stop watching YouTube and other social media platforms.
Even, 78.8% of marketers say YouTube has the best conversion rate, making it a highly effective consumerism tool. In the United States alone, YouTube earned no less than $4.96 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 which increased to $5.47 billion in 2020.
Therefore, it is pertinent to say YouTube has become a tool of consumerism and is ultimately creating a class divide by playing a pivotal role in advancing consumerism.
YouTube is Gendered
Women are often subjugated by the patriarchal, biased, gendered, and male-centered society. The reason is that media platforms such as YouTube, according to many feminists are antifeminists. These feminists believe these platforms tend to show data that is fit for males.
In many cases, the data these platforms show exhibit gender bias. It looks pertinent because nearly 73% of YouTube users are male. It means most of the data is also male-centered. Therefore, if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will become a patriarch.
YouTube is Destroying Education and Creativity
Another socio-cultural change brought by YouTube is the rise of graphic books and animation. Different scholars have shown that due to the constant use of visual platforms like YouTube, the basic human psyche has also been changed.
Now, people especially students cannot continue reading boring texts that comprise only words. They need visual narratives and expressions such as graphics and animation. So if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will bury libraries and the much-needed habit of book reading.
Karen MacPherson (2020) argues that there are many students who are reluctant to read. They want a YouTube screen with funny cat videos and memes, instead of books. They show no interest in reading long and rather boring words.
Students are infatuated and inundated with mobile and television screens. Therefore, graphic novels help those reluctant readers engage with reading. It also helps English language learners who need pictures and humour to keep them engaged and interested in their studies.
YouTube and other screens never substitute for books. It is rather entertainment but it is not a tool to become a scientist or inventor. Hence, if you can’t stop watching YouTube, you will become a dull, unintelligent, and uncreative mind.
How to Stop Watching YouTube?
As earlier mentioned, YouTube is converting you into a class of consumers and making you buy things that are not essential to life. Therefore, you need to be aware of this propaganda and reduce your YouTube engagement.
We live in an age where unnecessary things are our only necessities.Oscar Wilde
Turn Off Notifications
If you can’t stop watching Youtube, you can turn off notifications to reduce engegement. When notifications are on, you are likely to feel enticed by the video and get distracted. For instance, most of us cannot resist watching videos of funny cats, adorable babies, loyal pets, daring boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. The only viable option is to turn off notifications of all YouTube channels except those related to your study or business.
Watch Video as a Reward Only
The best use of YouTube is to watch a video as a reward after fulfilling some task. It means you dare yourself to complete a task in a given time and then watch a video as a reward. This strategy not only helps you stay productive but also lets you refresh your mind.
Only Subscribe to Quality Content Creator
Another important strategy to reduce YouTube engagement is to subscribe only to quality content creators. You are not supposed to help every creator on YouTube by subscribing to their channel and that too is at the cost of your time.
For instance, I have subscribed to very few channels such as Crash Courses, The School of Life, TED, Goalcost, etc. Therefore, I am most likely to make my time productive and spend less time on YouTube.
Hence, It is advisable to stop watching Youtube and spend the time either with family or doing physical hobbies such as gardening, outing, jogging, going to the gym, etc.
Can’t Stop Watching Youtube? Use Unhook Extension
Most importantly, you can use unhook extension to disable YouTube suggestions. In most cases, we spend less time on our subscribed channels and more time watching suggested videos, especially the shorts. On mobile, try to reduce the use of YouTube, and if not successful, uninstall/disable it for some days to break the bad habit.
It is pertinent to say that the media platform, YouTube is highly influential and monumental. It has transformed the socio-economic and cultural aspects of life. The second biggest social media platform, YouTube has given a further push to consumerism.
Since YouTube is dominated by men and its content is male-centered; it further increases gender disparity. In education, words have nearly been replaced by visuals such as graphics and animation. Therefore, you cannot say that you can’t stop watching YouTube.
Dredge, Stuart (2016). “YouTube was meant to be a video-dating website”. The Guardian
Gold, Hadas (2020). “Netflix and YouTube are slowing down in Europe to keep the internet from breaking”. CNN
Loke Hale, James (2019). “More Than 500 Hours Of Content Are Now Being Uploaded To YouTube Every Minute”. TubeFilter. Los Angeles, CA.
Macpherson, K. (2020), Don’t be afraid to let children read graphic novels. They’re real books. Washington Post
Newberry, C. (2021), 25 YouTube Statistics that May Surprise You: 2021 Edition, Hoot Suit
Statt, Nick (2020). “YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time”. The Verge
Storey, J. (2018). Cultural theory and popular culture: An introduction. Routledge
“The top 500 sites on the web”. Alexa Internet.
Zote, J., (2020), 40 YouTube stats and facts to power your 2020 marketing strategy, Sprout SocialShare