Since the dawn of the internet we, as a civilization, have had basically the entirety of human knowledge and creation at our fingertips. From the greatest works of literature to the most complex mathematical equations (explained as simply as possible for Dumb Brains like me). Almost every piece of recorded music in history can be listened to in a few seconds! It’s pretty freaking cool…and yet most of us end up watching/listening/reading the same comfortable stuff over and over again (I am absolutely of this ilk, I’ve watched every episode of the Simpsons [Seasons 3-15, my favorites] approximately one million times). So, it can be a bit of a revelation when someone or something new breaks into that sphere of sameness.
I’m one of the many millennials who hate “the algorithms”. All I need is to accidentally click on one YouTube video about woodworking and BAM, for the next year I get served nonstop ads and suggested content related to woodworking. No, I don’t need a new lathe, the one I already don’t have is working fine. No, I don’t need a four-pack of wooden handscrew clamps, I’m sure I could borrow clamps from a friend if I really needed them. No, I definitely don’t need a new 400W orbital sander…although it would make it much easier for me to repaint the chairs on our deck…NO I DON’T NEED IT.
So, despite all the pain and suffering the algorithms bring us, when they finally deliver a content creator you really vibe with…oh man, it rules. As I wrote about a while back, I’ve been getting pretty invested in golf. It started out as a safe place to hang out during the peak of Covid, a place to get some exercise, socialize safely, and just get out of the house for a while. Now it has become a burning obsession that I think about roughly 22.5 hours a day (mostly because it’s the only sport my dad can still beat me in – and boy does he kick my ass up and down 18 holes with ease).
But, there’s only so many hours a day you can actually hit a golf ball, so I found myself sliding very quickly down the YouTube rabbit hole. Lo and behold, after a few days of watching random videos that were hit or miss (sorry, I’m sorry, that wasn’t on purpose) the recommended videos started to get…good…and interesting. I found a couple creators I really liked and it felt like finding golf gold after panning through a muddy sand trap for days at a time. I felt like I’d discovered a new comet or a new species of animal. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends and my family and really anybody who would listen (regardless of how quickly their eyes glazed over) about my new internet friends (who will never know I exist because that’s how a para-social relationship works).
Finding a new creator you like, whether it be a Youtuber or a twitter personality or a musician or writer or director or painter or whatever can feel like a jolt of energy in our seemingly stale lives, so read that new book, watch that new video, go see that new exhibition! You never know what you’ll fall in love with next.
By Will Peterman | May 17, 2022