We live in the world of viral videos—at least those of us connected to the internet. The latest video becomes the topic of conversation—have you seen the one where…? Together, we spend 3.25 billion hours on YouTube in a month. That’s 399,543 years. Add to that all the YouTube videos embedded on Facebook etc.
More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices. The average number of mobile YouTube video views per day is 1 billion, and the average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes!
Part of the reason is the vast amount of material available—clips of just about every sporting highlight, classic comedy, kittens and babies doing daft/cute things, instructions on how to replace your oven fan etc. Then there are the fails—people finding new and ‘improved’ ways of hurting themselves. Add to that the spectacular scenery, and the breath-taking displays of dazzling skill and awesomeness.
It’s not a bad way to unwind at the end of the day, to watch a few highlights, to laugh at a few falls, to marvel at the sheer skill of some people.
But you could spend all day looking at this stuff, going from one video to another. WastedHumanity.com calculates how many years we’ve spent watching videos. For example, we have consumed a staggering 27,583 years watching Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ music video, and 1,545 years watching Charlie get his finger bit again (the most popular viral video ever). WastedHumanity reminds us in passing that it only took 5 years to discover the Polio vaccine, and 21 years to build the Taj Mahal.
The upside is that we’ve watched some good stuff too—678 years watching Ken Robinson’s TedTalk on education, and over 180 years watching the inspirational Nick Vujicic, for example.
With over 300 hours of video were uploaded every minute—that’s over 49 years of video per day—if you had a thousand lifetimes doing nothing else, you couldn’t take it all in. Nor of course would you want to—given how much drivel is on it.
But imagine a reality, not video footage, that was mind-blowingly fascinating, gloriously awesome, that you had a thousand lifetimes and more to endlessly explore. You see, in some ways YouTube is, albeit unintentionally, a shoddy parody of God, a tawdry second-hand rip-off.
He is endlessly fascinating and gloriously awesome, and his nature is incomprehensibly immense. In Heaven Christ’s people will get to know him. This is what Jesus has purchased for those who trust in his work at the cross—that we could know his Father as he knows him. He himself is so magnificent that we will want a thousand lifetimes just to get to know him—nevermind to explore the wonder of a perfect earth, seeing all the places we never got a chance to see here, and enjoying life as it was meant to be.
So, thanks YouTube for the light relief, but don’t be satisfied with the shadowlands of wasting your life away either endlessly watching YouTube, or trying to star on it. Instead aim higher—aim for the reality of God, of knowing him, and you will have an eternity to explore the sheer wonder of it all.