This video popped up on my Facebook news feed one Monday morning (when I had a severe case of the Monday blues) and I sat at my office desk laughing to myself for a good 5 minutes. And then I watched it again. And again. And again. So I’ll give you a few minutes to watch and laugh before I get started…go on, just do it:
So what did I do after I watched the video? Shared it, of course! This got me thinking about online videos and why we love them:
Hearing a good story: Something a video can do effectively but a picture can’t – tell a story. At one time you see moving images, meet different characters, hear sounds and music and even read text. Being flooded with information at once and having to make sense of all of it gets you involved and invested in the storyline (whether it’s a news story, music video, or a baby with a puppy) and at the end you seek some kind of closure or conclusion. This blog post in the Scientific American elaborates on the idea that humans are biologically wired to need stories because we are complex social beings and stories are tools that allow us to socialise, teach, experience emotions and sympathise. So we can’t help it, we need to hear (or see) stories.
Emotional journey and emotional satisfaction: Personally, while watching the video above I experienced multiple emotions: laughter at the joke, sadness being reminded about my own dog who passed away a few years ago, and joy at thinking about sharing the video with my family and wondering what their reactions would be. These are basic emotions but I still went on an emotional journey for just 30 seconds and feel quite different, if not better, after watching the video. Videos can change emotional states (desired or not) and there is satisfaction in experiencing this.
Sharing experiences and bonding with others: As I mentioned above, stories are tools used to connect and communicate with others. So video works in the same way – it becomes a way to connect with friends, family and even strangers to create a community. Once you share it with others, you create a shared experience (happy or sad) and it’s something that keeps you connected and bonded. Online videos are so easy to share and bring joy to both the ‘sharer’ and ‘sharee’ – that’s why we can’t help but tag that friend (me) who loves dogs treated as humans.
Seeking something new: Online videos are a great, easy and free way to learn something, anything new. Curious what to make for dinner tonight? YouTube it. Not sure how to use a product? YouTube it. Want to learn how to do a smokey eye? YouTube it. Want to hear Taylor Swift’s new song? YouTube it. This relates back to our biological need for stories, in this case at the start (before watching the video) we didn’t know something and by the end we have learned something. There is a lot of personal value attached to watching online videos because we are often seeking something from it and when we get it, we’re very happy.
Have I missed out anything in my list above? Please share your thoughts and comments below 🙂