Youtube annoyances

Grr. I hate Youtube people who end their videos with exhortations of “like and subscribe”.

Firstly. If I subscribe, then every time after this you are exhorting me to do something I already did. That’s like every teenager’s nightmare of Mom.

Nobody wants that, teenager or no.

Secondly. If I liked the video well enough, in a non-button-smashing sense, then I presumably will push the like button. If I do not think to do this, it is probably because I did not like the video enough: it did not create in me the need to register my enjoyance. That the maker of the video is telling me to like it, in either sense of the word, is annoying and arrogant. “I’m sure you liked the video, peon! Now push the button, your Master commands you! (whiplash)!”

(Obviously these words are said because if you annoy enough people into voting for you, Youtube success will result: fame, riches, a better commentariat. (Well, two out of three ain’t bad.) But that doesn’t mean I have to like the begging for votes, or accept something just because it makes fame more probable.)

The same is true of subscribing. You don’t get to say if I will. “Don’t forget to subscribe!” isn’t a gentle phrase. It doesn’t mean “Subscribe if and only if you want to see more like this!” — it means “I’m sure you want to see more like this, you will-less gawping-animal! Press the subscription button or you’ll feel the lash! (whiplash)!” — it is an implication that of course I like the video, I just might be too febrile and feeble-minded to remember to subscribe to further messages from the benevolent celestial brilliance of divine origin which is the vlogger.

Thirdly, if you produce videos which are four or five minutes each, then for the love of all that has holes in it, do not spend even ten seconds repeating that mantra above which is neither amusing nor interesting. Don’t insert content which is below even ads into your own videos. Don’t make the watcher go, here comes this empty part again. Think of the watcher that has newly come to you, and is watching video after video, cringing every time that formula repeats.

Related: If you have this four-minute vlog, don’t spend the first thirty seconds in a hokey introduction whose only content is to repeat the video’s title. We’ve all read the title; you can’t spin a mystery out of it. Assume the watcher read the title, and get straight to business.

If the title is “How to carve a pumpkin into a Halloween hat!”, then don’t start with “Hi! So okay guys, I’m pretty sure you’ve been out and about, and have noticed that that special day is approaching — yes, giggity, I refer to Halloween! Day of Ghosts! Boo! (etc. etc.) But if you have this, that and the other, do you have the hat? (etc. etc.) How about a pumpkin hat? Gosh, I think you never guessed this was going to be about that!”


Another, different annoyance: I have a tablet and a smartphone, so I use the Youtube app on them. (Because their browsers, while generally the shit, are as regards Youtube, shit.) This means there’s no Adblock on my non-laptop Youtube experience.

Which means that every four or five videos I suddenly flick up the Android menu, mash a finger on the mute button, look intently at a wall for five seconds, and then smoosh the “Skip ad” button as soon as it appears.

Because, by the gods dark and terrible, and the whole Stygian anti-glibness league, I will not be advertised at if I don’t want to be. And I don’t want to see the plastic people and the lies of implication that ads are full of.

It’s even worse that the Youtube ads are Finnish ads — I’m in Finland, so obviously — so I’m told to buy douches and anal cream and toddler-resistant dress shoes and whatever it is that your generic wealthy advertisers want to sell you; mostly things that (a) I don’t want, (b) I don’t need, and/or (c) I don’t feel like preferring one brand over another for.

Or then I’m shown trailers for movies I don’t want to watch: Fast and Furious Meet the Fockers.

I’ve had my tablet for over a year; it’s probably safe to say I’ve watched thousands of Youtube videos on it.

I haven’t watched a single goddamn ad it has served at me. Mute, look away, wait, skip. Not one. No more than a second or two of each, at most.

Why yes, some people have good reasons to feel good. I just have reasons like this… but they make me feel good!

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