Learn All About It

Everyone remembers the pain of the seventies, eighties, and even the majority of the nineties. If we wanted to learn about something or learn how to do something, we had to trek to the library, find a plethora of books about it, and glean what we could from what we were reading. It was often a tiresome effort, as learning from a book doesn’t always teach us HOW to do something in a practical manner. Sure, we learn more about what we’re researching, but if you’re reading a book about how to change a flat tire, you’re not exactly going to know what you’re doing when faced with the actual problem.

Those days weren’t easy and then came the internet. We could search the web and find dozens of articles offering advice on the same topic, all in one place. We were instantly hooked, and the internet blossomed into an invaluable invention for almost everyone. For many years, we survived with the internet alone.   We had search engines, chat rooms, and every ridiculous page in between, until 2005 when an amazing webpage was launched. This site was called YouTube and it changed the way people learned things, and also, how we laughed.

Even though the site is barely ten years old, YouTube has quickly become the second most popular site on the internet. It barely had the chance to experience the humble beginnings of other internet sites as it was launched in February of 2005, and was purchased by Google in November of the following year for a whopping $1.6 billion. Apparently, Google was able to recognize the tremendous potential of a site that allows users to upload, view, and comment on videos all on one site. YouTube’s intense rise in popularity was pretty impressive, even by the internet’s standards.

We’ve all experienced the insanely funny videos shared by our younger brother or the guy who sits next to you at work.   YouTube users also flock to the dramatic and vitriol spiked comment section on their favorite videos where it seems the object is to heckle the video uploader. The beauty of YouTube is that it has a little something for everyone. You can not only watch your favorite music videos from the nineties, but there are so many other options. Want to watch a video of kittens? They’ve got it. Want to learn how to unclog your garbage disposal? They have a video that can teach that skill as well.

Sure, YouTube is fantastic for finding hilarious videos featuring cute animals, comedy sketches, and compilations of our favorite humorous scenes from movies. It’s also a great site to find activism videos to educate yourself about particular causes and can be considered a somewhat reputable source dependent upon from where the video was obtained. However, YouTube’s hidden beauty is the tutorial video. This type of video has made it possible for us to learn how to do virtually anything we want to learn to do. Want to learn to play the guitar? Or knit? YouTube has a video for that.

The tutorial section is, by far, the hidden gem of YouTube, and is quickly becoming the most popular way for us to learn things. It’s pretty obvious why it’s better for most people to pick up a skill, talent, or necessity from YouTube than it would be learning from a book. Tutorial videos feature the practical application of what you’re trying to figure out. If you want to know how to make a crocheted blanket for your friend’s new baby, you’ll figure it out by watching someone actually perform the task, rather than simply reading a set of confusing instructions.

It’s been discovered that people learn one of two ways. Some people are auditory learners, and this type of people are able to learn by hearing. Others are visual learners, and the best figure things out by seeing what they’re about to do. YouTube is helpful for both types of learners and eliminates the pigeon-holing of one type of learner by expecting them to pick it up simply from reading directions or taking a class where the teacher lectures about the task at hand. YouTube applies the practical application of the skill you’re looking to obtain and makes the mastery of that skill within the grasp of the person watching the tutorial video. No longer do we have to say, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to…”(fill in your secret wish talent here), as YouTube has made many things much more attainable.

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