Why I Hate YouTube

The reason I hate YouTube videos and podcasts is that I think a lot faster than most people talk. It’s torture to watch them struggling to get a simple thought out in painfully roundabout and wordy ways.

In order to deliver a powerful monologue that won’t be deathly boring, you need to have five professional writers help you write and polish it, and then you need to have years of professional experience on how to deliver it without mumbling and bleating. On top of that, you need a natural charisma, a pleasing appearance, a clear pronunciation, and a strong, magnetic personality.

Most people (including me) don’t have any of these qualities. But they might have interesting and useful ideas. And if they wrote those ideas down instead of trying to get them out verbally, I could skim them in 3 seconds and decide if they are useful.

This is why I don’t have a YouTube channel and don’t subscribe to any.

6 thoughts on “Why I Hate YouTube”

  1. I watch a fair bit of youtube or similar content, and a lot of the issues you outline are sorted out by editing.

    One of the things that annoy me about text is that it does not have good easy indications of what register it’s supposed to be read in (humorous? straightforward account? analytical? goading? satirical?), so a lot of what gets sorted out by a an arched brow or quick change in tone may become whole paragraphs of largely-irrelevant metadata sandwich for the actual meat of their point. I get the experience of “get to the fucking point!” a lot more while reading rather than listening, to the point where it feels actively refreshing in the cases where I don’t have to.

    I pretty much have an identity as a reader going from way deep in childhood, but I had an experience with a Foucault lecture that altered that view some. The lecture read as incredibly aimless and plodding as a transcript (which, granted, isn’t really a text meant to be read), but came absolutely alive as audio. Things that seemed like stupid assertions were instead half-winks or jokes, considerations not fully held were underscored by doubt in the voice, him debating himself back and forth could be easily seen as such, and so on.


  2. Yeah, I mostly use youtube videos and/or podcasts as background sound while I work and barely watch or don’t watch at all… actually sitting and giving my full attention to a podcast or most videos is not… fun

    There are also youtube channels that I find interesting that I do watch though I almost never make it from beginning to end….


  3. Response to: Why I Hate YouTube

    Yes, this is certainly a big part of it. I think there are other factors involved in why I don’t like watching videos, but this is a big one. Like many mathematicians, I read rather slowly, carefully parsing every sentence. But it is still faster than anyone speaks.


  4. Thinking, schminking.
    I just don’t have the attention span to sit through a bunch of monologues. I can only really deal with podcasts when I’m in motion and then I just use them to zone out. I fast forward through a lot of videos when I watch them. A lot of people use TikTok and memes for that reason.

    However I think you underestimate (or it is over estimate) most people’s bar for “boring” especially if you deliver soothing monologues in the form of just so stories and fairy tales. Or if you hit the “own the libs!” button. You can throw in a contrary position once in a while, it’ll make your audience feel smart and well rounded. People LOVE other smart people who make them feel smart.

    Remember Scott Walker was a successful politician and Ben Shapiro has his own podcast/radio show. Even crazy Jordan Peterson has fans. I’m surprised Rod hasn’t suggested media training and a makeover. It would go a long way.
    But it’s also a PITA, so I’d understand why you’d never do it.


  5. Do you run into the same problem with Audible? I know the delivery is professional, but unless the writing is exquisite, it seems like it’d be the same thing.

    Have you noticed any difference between how well you remember what you’ve read vs what you’ve listened to?


    1. Absolutely. I’m a teacher. I automatically tune out the second I hear someone else’s voice.

      So I discovered that I can’t do fiction on Audible at all. I tried listening to Trollope, and it was horrible.

      But political books go quite well because the author usually drums away on a single point and it doesn’t matter if I tune out regularly.

      On the other hand, I’m currently listening to Dominion on Audible. It will take 5 years because it’s humongous. But it’s so impossibly good that I’m not tuning out.


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