When forecasting for the development of technology one must predict both the positive and negative effects the technology in question will have on society. While something like the atomic bomb may have had pretty clear ramifications, the effect that the internet would have on society might have been a bit fuzzy during its development. I doubt very seriously people forecasted an endless amount of *takes deep breath* memes, porn, games, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, 4chan, and cats when this information sharing technology was still new. They also probably couldn’t have predicted how reliant upon the technology our society would become. For instance, we aren’t really looking towards the atomic bomb as the biggest war weapon anymore, but rather pulse bombs that could take out almost all machines functioning on battery power or with electricity (hint: computers big or small). Developers say that society would just degrade and millions would die within the first month of one of these babies going off.
Keeping this in mind, it is baffling what most have ended up doing with this amazing thing we have. Without a doubt the internet has become one of the biggest time wasters for not only twenty-somethings and below, but… well everyone. I can spend all day looking at *cough* art and photography on Tumblr, looking at pictures of my aunt’s wedding on Facebook, or watching videos of cute cats on YouTube. As Mike Rugnetta states, “Seventy-two hours of content are uploaded to YouTube a minute. Four billion hours are spent watching videos by eight million people… every month.” Jeez, that’s a lot of time right? And what is most important to note is that it’s not just me, it’s my Mom, or my grandma, or my uncle, or some dude using a library computer, or my friends in China that are able to take advantage of the internet because of how deeply embedded the technology is across the world. As Rugnetta states it’s all about “access” to the internet, and without a doubt an almost endless amount of content has become “accessible”.
Why does this time-wasting matter though? Personally, what gets me is that the millennial generation is ridiculed for their excessive use of social media and the internet. Not because we aren’t doing it (because I’m on Facebook and YouTube as I write this), but because A) Everyone is doing it and B) Older generations are ignoring the simply amazing things that millennials are doing while they simultaneously watch Miley Cyrus, naked licking construction equipment. Heck, I’m here collaborating with friends across the country to simply write something and share knowledge… just because we can. Cool right?
We are by no means the only people creating educational content though. There is so much going on in regards to intelligent and educational (but cool) content being created that it simply makes my head spin. We have access to learn almost anything, and although I still do spend an excessive amount of time playing flash games I still take a small bit of time out of my internet usage to learn something. So, to summarize as quickly as possible and get to the bulk of things I’m here to teach you, the reader, something in a pay it forward sort of way. Here are a handful of people who are creating cool and educational content online now that everyone (especially millennials) should know about. Here is your access, here is your better time waster, EDUCATE YOURSELF, and most importantly spread the good news.
P.S. Feel free to share any place you go for cool educational content online in the comments below!
Pbs Idea Channel: This is where I pulled my quotes from, and was my door into education through YouTube. What Mike does best is his ability to mix relevant media with educational concepts. My favorite being Idea Channel’s video on Adventure Time and Nostalgia. My other favorite aspect is Mike’s integration of viewer comments at the end of each video, it really promotes intelligent discussion in the comment section (which is almost unheard of these days).
Vsauce: Vsauce is actually a trio of YouTube channels: Vsauce (main channel subject matter can vary), Vsauce2 (an almost continuation of the first channel), and Vsauce3 (a step away from the first two channels more tech and gaming related content). Each has its own subject, but what each channel gets right is its clarity on sometimes complex ideas. One of my recent favorites being the video above which is a talk about mistakes. Hint: Vsauce3 is amazing for finding out about even more mildly educational time wasters and things you didn’t know you needed.
THNKR: There is just too much going on with this YouTube channel. It has so many segments that I highly recommend getting lost in one of their playlists for an hour or two… you’ll understand when you check it out.