Social Improvement: Good For You, by Travis Roher
Yes, it is true that you could learn more than you could ever remember from YouTube. I get it. If I hear one more time how someone has learned to speak Mandarin, or bake a pecan pie through YouTube I will vomit. It is also true that we are all a "little bit more worldly" by being exposed to foreign rituals such as the "Soulja Boy" and the evolution of dance. And how could I forget, cousin Joe, who's half-court miracle shot at the buzzer has garnered so many hits that even Nike (wow!!!) has placed advertisements in the beginning of the video, at the 1:08 mark, and laced the similar videos with advertisements from the past five years. Yes, YouTube is great. I don't know how anyone would survive without it. I'm saying that whole-heartedly and not sarcastic in the least bit, though it may seem like it at first. I love how much I've learned. I love how much time I've been able to pass time unknowingly. I love being able to watch TV shows from my childhood and not have to pay a cent for the nostalgia. I love all of the easy access knowledge. But maybe I'm being a little too selfish? Am I taking this beautiful website, and the fact that I am so blessed to have access to a computer, the internet, and electricity all for granted? I can't remember the last time I, or any of my peers for that matter, have asked themselves how they could make the world a better place through YouTube. We often get too caught up in our own well-being and self improvement (though not a terrible thing) that we don't realize how easy it is to make a difference in the lives of others. But the argument remains, YouTube is a place where people can escape from the real world, take an anonymous user name, and escape to the deep dark barracks of their inner most secrets, interests, and lusts. So why take a moral stance? Why not remain selfish? Well, because in my opinion, that is the essence of YouTube. The sharing of thoughts, ideas, and practices for the betterment of the world, from an individualistic stance. I believe too many people take, but don't give back into the YouTube community. We are coming to a point in society, a very uneasy point, where if we don't all use what we are given and what we have learned through others, we truly are doomed as a society. I'm not saying YouTube is the be all and end-all of moral justice and the betterment of our planet as a whole, but it definitely would make a difference. If we are able to maintain a site similar to YouTube for future generations, and we are able to come to an even give and take balance, we may be surprised with ourselves with what we can accomplish— improvement of you, me, and the world, through YouTube.