I discovered YouTube when I was 15 and playing around online, looking for places to watch music videos and funny stuff to occupy my time when I should have been studying. Today, I still use YouTube to do that, but as a website it has become far more useful to me than for just music and laughs.
I used to watch videos and anything I wanted to keep a reference of to show someone else I just put in my favourites bar in my browser.( which back then was IE, for shame I know, but now I flick between Chrome and Firefox depending on my mood). In 2008 a friend of mine linked me to a video which he said was disgusting but I had to watch, so being the curious individual that I am I clicked it, but it was blocked. I had to have an account to verify my age because the content was deemed inappropriate for young users. So I set myself up an account and watched a video of a man popping a giant whitehead on his shoulder that once all the puss had come out looked like he had a giant crater in it. To this day I still feel a little nauseous thinking about it, but it was a sick yet amazing video, which sparked me watching more of them to see if they were just as wrong, or even worse.
The fact that once I had seen one I wanted to see more, and how easily available the content is, is what makes the site so addictive to me. I have watched funny animal videos, babies laughing videos, rap battle videos, sports videos, music videos, news videos, comedy videos, cartoon videos and a whole host more. When in doubt of a song I Google the lyrics, find the song, then YouTube it and listen to it. In the way that to “Google” something is to search it, “YouTube-ing it” has become part of my everyday vernacular, as I am sure it has with other people as well.
What I watch depends on the day, but for example of late I have been watching game playthroughs by two particular YouTubers, TheRadBrad and TheSyndicateProject. I don’t own a PS3 or Xbox360, so this allows me to watch the games and kind of experience them, without the initial £250 outlay plus £40 a pop for a game. I also have old favourites I watch like Charlieissocoollike and the Phillip Defranco Show. These two guys are not only really informative, but also highly entertaining to me, and can lead to hours upon hours of surfing on YouTube.
I think that YouTube is a brilliant website for distraction, education and entertainment and will undoubtedly carry on being one of my favourite sites for many years to come. I am sure that my taste will evolve and with it a whole new host of videos to feed my appetite will come into view and the addiction will continue.