Whatever did we do before you tube? The internet giant has taken on a life of its own and it transpires that the formula is permeating other areas of media, marketing, publicity, news and entertainment in the form of video reviews. My cynical side would like to declare that all the young people of today quite frankly can\’t be bothered to read anymore, and just want to look at pictures and listen to noises to find out what is going on. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this attitude is somewhat Victorian, snobbish, elitist or just downright ignorant.
For a start, reading had only been accessible to the majority of westerners for a hundred years or so, before that, only the most wealthy were privileged enough to be able to afford to educate themselves or their children. Even in modern society, there are many people who are illiterate and therefore cannot access information that is presented in written form.
Then there is the issue that even if a person can read, the material may not be presented in a language that can be understood. Arguably, trying to glean information from a video review in a foreign language is not necessarily going to be successful or accurate, but it is amazing the amount of information that can be deciphered through body language and tone of voice. All you need do is recall the last time you watched a subtitled movie, or absent mindedly watched a commercial whilst abroad; I can almost guarantee you got the general gist of what was going on by visual and audio cues.
The power of this visual information is actually embedded in our distant past. Before the term technology was even a concept, our ancestors sat around a fire, sharing food and stories. The flickering of the rising flames was a natural attraction to the eye, and as the evening darkened, hearing was used to listen for any danger. Back then we were keyed to be alert to danger and responsive to receiving knowledge. Children and adults alike would learn the ways of their culture by listening to the elders tell stories, and by watching dances and demonstrations.
The new craving and acceptance of video reviews is little more than a revival of an audio visual learning environment, and should be embraced. There are sadly many children in this country that have been failed by the education system, and have a sub-standard level of being able to read or write. In realistic terms, this number is nothing compared to the illiterate masses a couple of hundred years ago, but at least an audio and visual medium for presenting information is a way of educating and informing citizens of all classes.
Ultimately, the very nature of the you tube generation and the posts that are being made on blogs and via news sites is a cross section of opinions, conspiracies, likes, loves, hates and general nonsense amongst rare gems. The more video review type posts that are made, the more unbiased the resulting information should be. Rather than the system being seen as a dumbing down of society, it should be embraced as an example of liberation, freedom of speech and democracy.