As the dynamic landscape of the viral perpetually changes, the onslaught of TikTok has relegated now dinosaur YouTube to an “Ok Boomer” status of a musty hallway coat closet piled with the remains of a cassette deck. The original streaming video platform of the cloud generation of the digital realm has faced a mass exodus, as parents attempt to remain relevant. They face the direness and sobering era of 15-second attention spans in the absence of critical thinking skills, as the concept of hype has taken on a Jekyll & Hyde persona as legions of the majority of young technocrats raised by devices are triggered by real life.
The once thriving “Trending” videos tab on the YouTube dashboard has been reduced to a collection of music videos and obscure selections, including at the time of publication a production highlighting the “World’s Tallest Elephant Toothpaste Volcano” (a teenage engineering project). Once covertly hip content saturates a site’s popularity algorithms, desperation is forthcoming as the leadership scrambles to remain afloat. In order to combat the highly successful guerilla tactics of Beijing infiltrating Western culture through the proliferation of TikTok, earlier this year the company launched the “Shorts” campaign in attempting to attract content creators through compensation and saturating the venture with an abundance of advertisements.
While the YouTube pickings have grown increasingly slim in sharing viral videos, the only alternative is to either wait for another site to hit the mainstream, or yield to the will of the Chinese government and the directive to eliminate privacy, an unsettling reality that the younger generations are either indifferent to or oblivious, in the quest for apathy. For now, the clock is ticking on the availability of quality content.