I just wasted 45 minutes of my life watching the highlights of YouTube Live, an event that took place last Saturday (apparently I was hiding under a rock for several weeks and missed the announcements). Most of it is NSFW, so please don’t watch if you happen to be at school on Wednesday. Instead, go home, relax after the long hard day of kids flying around the school high on pre-Thanksgiving break adrenaline, and Charlie the Unicorn, Will it Blend?). Some of it is humorous, but a lot of it is just really painful to watch; the carefully orchestrated and edited clips of the popular video-sharing site don’t really translate well to the real world interaction between Internet celebrities. It was actually a bit dissapointing, but then again I’m approaching what I’m sure the people at YouTube and Google would consider the far end of their target demographic, seeing as I’m not in college, have kids, and am currently paying off a mortgage.
After watching it, I really had to admire the amount of courage a lot of those people had to get up in front of a huge audience. I always thought that the genius of YouTube was that it allowed otherwise greatly talented people to overcome any stage fright and or fear of embarrasment by performing for themselves, and then simply uploading the video. I realize that it may seem a bit oxy-moronical, as all of those videos are in fact being viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, but there’s one thing for sure that’s coming in the next generation of students. I don’t think we’ll have many problems looking for students willing to show their work, their talent, and themselves to the world. In fact, I think teaching is going to change radically in the next 10 years if students start truly listening to the adulation and feedback they get from anonymous internet users and start treating the world like their own personal performance hall.