Taking a walk through the YouTube App….

February 14, 2005…..That was the day that YouTube launched its first video and effectively changed the world!

 Can you remember where you were that day? People ask that question about 9/11, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and other marked moments in history, but just how long will it take to realize that there is most definitely a BEFORE and AFTER YouTube??

Realizing there was no way to launch home videos online, three former employees of PayPal decided to create a place to do it. What started as an experiment in entrepreneurship developed into an app that has changed the way people approach life. ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!

Is this a positive addition to the ever present parade of technology that we as a society have become accustomed to witnessing? Or is it a gateway to a new kind of slothfulness? Should we turn to the internet when we need instruction?

Taking into the account the brief history of YouTube and the number of video selections and channels that are available it seems easy to answer these questions.

In his book “The Medium is the Massage”, published in 1964, Marshall McLuhan states, rather frantically, that television and the technology that surely will follow behind it is a wave of evil coming at us from the future. He worries that it will forever change our way of life, the way we think and society at large. It is certainly hard to disagree with his belief that T.V. would change the way that people think and perceive the world, because tells us that is exactly what happened. Suddenly the world was connected. International news and social events, like the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II were broadcast and the world was able to witness an American Astronaut walking on the moon. Epic moments that never would have been appreciated the same way; had they not been seen! These are positives and one could argue that life took a turn for the better when people were more connected and saw how other cultures lived. Everyone owned a T.V., everyone watched T.V. Everyone knew more about what was happening in the world around them. New formats of communication like PBS brought educational shows right into your living room for the first time.

So, if T.V. changed the world YouTube can be portrayed as T.V. on steroids!!!

Since that monumental day seventeen years ago, the world has changed and so has our perception of it, just as McLuhan predicted with the invention and adoption of technological media. First the T.V. ,later the computer and internet and finally YouTube.

YouTube remains the King of video apps, none can overshadow what has taken its place in the world since the launching of the first video site. What began as the simple idea of people sharing homemade ideas, memorable moments, and home videos, has become an iconic tool. Shared by all ends of international society, the list is endless in trying to account for all the activities, professional agendas and societal mechanisms that generate YouTube videos—


school systems,

political candidates, 


library systems,

musical groups, 

preschool platforms,

trade schools,

or any other type of human venture one can think of; can be successful without! 

Before YouTube there were  a multitude of DVD’c that you could watch on your laptop and prior to that on your DVD player, prior to that; videos to watch on your VCR, before that………….can anyone even remember what we did when we needed to know something fast before that? 

Reel to reel film….?

             Smoke signals….?

What has made YouTube such an epic life changer is its sheer portability….mobile smart phones and laptop computers put information as close as any digital screen. According to the marketing website Oberlo, there are 2.6 billion YouTube subscribers as of 2022. And most YouTube subscribers watch at least one video a month. One of the biggest selling points for YouTube is its accessibility. YouTube has been “localized” in 100 countries and translates into 80 languages.

In addition to watching videos for entertainment and education, the website searchland.com estimates that the number of How-to videos watched grows by 70% every year.

How often do you have a question about how to do something and just pull out your phone to search YouTube for a video on how to do it….?

YouTube is so much a part of the digital landscape that when looking for statistics on the app and its users, dozens of marketing companies pop up on Google immediately with a myriad of different facts and financial benefits along with stats on what YouTube has done for the face of business in the 2000’s. 

Sadly, even cults and terrorists upload videos on YouTube. Perhaps that is the biggest detriment to such a powerful platform. Just about anyone can have access to it, which leaves it vulnerable to bad actors and perhaps even bad advice now and again on its How-To videos. But thankfully there are filters in place that law enforcement can draw on and YouTube has put its own boundaries and warnings in place to ward off the bad guys…..hopefully.

YouTube is too big to narrow down to one blog article. it will continue to grow and populate our reality daily. One can watch their local preacher preach from the church pulpit, watch a recording of a political speech from the 1970’s, learn to change the oil in his vehicle and view a documentary on Beluga Whales for a school paper all in one afternoon, and all on his smart phone. I would say that the positives completely outweigh any negatives on the YouTube app.

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