When Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawad Karim founded YouTube in 2005 there’s no way they could have predicted that they would change the world as we know it in five short years. YouTube has revolutionized everything from entertainment to education, opened new doors for talented individuals looking to be discovered, and brought people together from all over the globe. How has YouTube changed your world?
YouTube Has Made The World Smaller
For me, one of the most amazing things about YouTube is its ability to make the world smaller. And, no, I don’t mean that YouTube has literally shrunken down the globe. What I mean is that YouTube has given us the power to travel the world with a single click.
Sure, before YouTube existed we could learn about distant countries and cultures by reading books and articles online, watching documentaries and looking at published pictures. But YouTube allows us to take things a step further and learn about places and cultures around the world from the actual people who live there.
I think it’s absolutely amazing that with a quick YouTube search we can watch a Zimbabwean music video, take an educational trip to Bhutan, the last Shangri La, or find out everything there is to know about Iceland. It is opening up new doors for people, who were once ignorant to the world around them, to become aware of cultures around the globe and to see that there are all sorts of interesting people living on our planet, interesting music and dance that we’ve never heard before, and so much to see, learn and soak up.
YouTube Helps People Get Discovered
In recent years, YouTube has opened new doors for talent discovery. Never before has it been so easy for talented singers, dancers, actors and artists to achieve instant fame. Today, a person can upload a video of himself singing to YouTube and, if it gets seen by the right person, he could receive millions of views, get a record deal and begin a whole new life overnight.
Case in point: Justin Bieber. When Justin’s mom uploaded some videos of her son singing to YouTube to share with family and close friends she had no idea that the videos would be seen by music manager Scooter Braun and that he would have the opportunity to meet Usher and become a pop icon.
Before YouTube, singers had to perform to small audiences in bar gigs and small performances, hoping that the right person would be there. YouTube offers an audience of millions. Of course, uploading a video to YouTube doesn’t guarantee your ticket to fame, but it does increase the chances of someone with real, genuine talent and originality getting discovered.
Check out Justin Bieber’s first YouTube upload below, and then check him out at the end of last year, singing for President Obama, thanks to YouTube. Amazing, right?
YouTube Offers A Platform For Spreading Truth & Inciting Change
YouTube has given people around the globe a platform through which they can post videos to show the world, first-hand, what is going on in their countries; to show the world the reality of situations that may not be being broadcast on the news or may be hidden by the government; and to let people know about different issues that they may not have heard about and getting viewers to take action.
Non-profit organizations, fundraising teams and more have used YouTube to spread the word about everything from the death penalty to saving the rainforests with web video activism on YouTube. Millions of dollars have been raised and petitions have been signed as the result of YouTube campaigns. But what is really amazing is the way YouTube has revealed the truth about various political situations and evens around the globe.
One of the most amazing examples of YouTube as a platform for spreading the truth is the story of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was killed in protests over the Iranian election of 2009. The world had no idea what was going on in Iran until a video of Neda being killed was uploaded to YouTube. It spread like wildfire and soon the entire world jumped into action, doing what they could to stop the troubles in Iran and show their support. The video below shows the powerful role that YouTube played in spreading the truth about the Iranian election.
YouTube Has Revolutionized Entertainment
YouTube has also changed the face of entertainment. We used to watch television, go to the movies, read books. Today we can spend hours on YouTube, watching video after video. YouTube has shows, movies, home movies, animated shorts, web series and more and we can watch it all from home for free.
And YouTube entertainment isn’t limited to YouTube alone. YouTube clips are being shown on the news, and on popular television shows like Good Morning America and Ellen. Whereas people used to ask friends, over dinner, whether or not they had seen the latest box office hit, now people ask if their friends have seen the latest viral video and odds are they have. Even if they didn’t see the clip on YouTube, they probably saw it on the news or on their favorite variety show.
YouTube Has Revolutionized Education
YouTube is chock full of how to videos, tutorials and lectures. If you have a question or want to know how something is done all you have to do is search for it in YouTube and odds are there is an educational video waiting to teach you everything you need to know.
In fact, some people are even beginning to use YouTube as a tool for offering a free education to people around the world. For instance, hedge fund analyst Salman Khan quit his job to start offering a free education on the web, via YouTube. Through the ‘Khan Academy’, Khan offers over 1,400 tutorials, teaching about everything from math and finance, to physics, chemistry and biology. With videos like Khan’s on YouTube, all that a person needs is an internet connection and they have access to a fantastic education, even in third world countries. If you ask me, I’d say this is pretty incredible and revolutionary.