SOCIAL MEDIA / AUG. 26, 2014
version 4, draft 4

Can You Watch This Entire Video?

If you think you’re up for the challenge, the next three minutes and six seconds of your life will be devoted to watching this video. That doesn’t sound like hard work right? Well, in theory it shouldn’t be much of a challenge but you may end up surprising yourself.

Did you manage to watch the entire video or did you decide to carry on reading this article as the video continued to play? Don’t feel bad if you did, I must confess that my first encounter with this video resulted in me idly scrolling the sidebar up and down for a few a seconds whilst I eagerly anticipated the video’s inevitable point. Then the urge to open another tab became almost unbearable. As the commentator in the video began to literally verbally list the things I was likely to be doing or trying not to do, I felt defeated as if I’d just failed the latest challenging viral test. Hopefully, there are some of you out there reading this that can relate to my experience, I mean who wants to watch a video that has no actual narrative other than to tell you that you’re some sort of empty headed online consumer.

This video got me thinking one thing and one thing only – why is watching this video so challenging? I decided to delve a little deeper into this video and look for any sociological insights and correlations between online content, culture and consumption – this is what I discovered.

At first I decided to consider if my millennial status had something to do with my noticeable lack of attention span that this video pointed out to me. With so many different types of media available at our fingertips discovering that we spend 17.8 hours a day consuming content was my first step towards gaining a deeper sense of understanding in regards to my own online consumer habits. If you’re still reading this article chances are you’ve already beaten the odds too, but in my quest to shed some light on the topics previously mentioned, I guess I should move this article on a little bit faster.

The next thing I came across made me think about the instant gratification of internet users. Perhaps we are conditioned to expect immediate gratification when we are surfing the internet which is what this video cleverly managed to play on and successfully send me on an hour long journey to figure out how and why. When I stumble across online content like this video I can’t help but to re-evaluate my own online behaviour. As an audience, maybe we do want our online content to be as brief as possible and delivered to us as quick as possible, because let’s face it - there’s so much content out there and not enough hours in the day to consume all the blogs, news updates, tweets and videos.

Whether or not the overwhelming stream of a diverse range of content serves as a distraction or if as an audience we are merely reactive to the content we chose to consume, this video has managed to condense the very essence of our online expectations and behaviour in just three minutes and six seconds which in the digital age, is all the time we can hardly spare.

Image source – Collegehumor.com

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