I have a confession to make, a confession about a lie I have lived with for far too long now, and can no longer stand to keep silent.
My name is Chris, and I can’t watch YouTube.
Let me rephrase that. I can watch it, in the literal sense. It runs perfectly fine on my computer. There is no stuttering, no loading problems, nothing. YouTube runs like a dream—it’s just a dream my brain hates, and encourages me to avoid at all costs.
If you know me, and have ever linked me to a YouTube video, I haven’t watched it. I probably acted like I watched it. I said that was funny, made some comment about the guy who uploaded it, but that was all just a smoke screen; I was completely and totally full of shit. At best, I just read the title and description, maybe watched the first couple of seconds. Only enough so that I could spew the necessary amount of bullshit in your direction to enable me to change the subject away from the fact that I am never, ever going to actually watch whatever the hell it is you just linked me to. I’m not talking about once or twice either—I have done this every single time. If I saw www.youtube.com in the web address, I did everything in my power to avoid whatever it is you wanted me to see.
I am so incredibly sorry. I am a terrible, horrible person who has refused you even the basic courtesy of humoring you, making no attempt to find entertainment in something that brought you joy. Instead, I lied to your face. Not once, but dozens upon dozens of times. I am a liar, and a jerk, and I am sorry.
But Jesus Christ I can’t bring myself to sit through any of that crap.
Sure, I appreciate YouTube. Before it rolled around, simple streaming video was virtually non-existent on the web. I even admire the breadth of material on YouTube. For every insipid video of a kitten who thinks its people, there are hours and hours of concert footage available of bands which broke up before I was even born, or helpful instructions for simple adult tasks a man-child like myself has somehow managed to avoid learning. It’s all very nice and well and good and a benevolent tool for amateur film makers, musicians, comedians, and the entirety of mankind, but…holy fucking shit dammit, my brain just hates it so much.
The whole thing is irrational, really. The moment a YouTube video opens up in my browser, my mind goes berserk. “What the hell is this?!” it screams. “You don’t have time to watch this! A minute and thirty seconds? What the fuck! What kind of lazy, procrastinating, do-nothing slob do they think you are? YOU COULD BE SOMETHING SOMEDAY! This is a waste of your time!”
Which is hilarious, because if they held elections for lazy, procrastinating, do-nothing slobs, I would be in the running for King. I have wasted hours, days, years of my life looking at pointless crap on the internet. Some days I just cycle endlessly through my Firefox favorites list, despite the fact that I have already read everything there is to read on all of those sites several times over. Do you know how much time I’ve spent reading Wikipedia? Probably not, but I do, and it is too much. All that sits perfectly fine with me, but the second you slap a timer and a progress bar on it, my brain suddenly realizes I could be using this time to make something of myself, and seizures into a full-blown panic attack.
Something about me has decided that my free time is a precious, precious snowflake, and that watching YouTube is like letting it land on the surface of the sun.
So, there it is. For far too long I have lived with this terrible secret, and it feels good to finally get it off my chest. Just, please, don’t link me to anymore YouTube videos. I don’t want to have to lie to you, but I totally will.