The internet is a truly magnificent thing – a massive data network that collects all of human knowledge and ideas. In many ways, we’re learning to use the internet in very exciting ways and ways that can really advance society – like Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and the “internet of things” that allows us to tap into this resource to inform and power household objects in new ways. But oftentimes, we’ll come across a missed opportunity.
YouTube is a very popular site that people use to watch videos of cats and obnoxious bloggers. But a friend showed me a site that made me realize just how much of a missed opportunity YouTube really is. It showed me what, I believe, YouTube should be. Astronaut.io is a constant stream of seldom-watched YouTube videos that are titled something like DSC or IMG with a random number sequence afterwards. Essentially, they’re the forgotten videos that people uploaded but never bothered to share on social media or even title – moments from kids’ birthday parties, high school basketball games, impromptu personal interviews, dancing practice, babies’ first moments, someone seeing snow for the first time. They’re extremely personal moments that were never really intended to be watched by anyone else, and it’s beautiful. I feel like this is what YouTube should have been: something more personal than the doctored-up videos of people trying to impress the world or the bootlegged TV shows and sensationalized news segments. YouTube is just becoming a bad version of television with even louder commercials when it could have been something more. It could have been something more human.