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  • Writer's pictureJinx Chin

My Most Idiotic (And Most Watched) Video on YouTube

Now that even more people are watching YouTube and Netflix than ever before, due to the lockdowns around the world, it makes sense that even more people are starting YouTube (or Tik Tok or any other social video platform) channels and putting more videos of themselves online. Many of these videos are geared towards certain areas of interest or expertise, while others are just for the heck of it.

I have put videos on YouTube on and off over the years, usually musical in nature, since that's what I love, but much to my chagrin, the video that seems to have gotten the most views is an idiotic video I did of a magic trick (Yeah I was into magic big time then) using an Intel Webcam, way back in college.

Years later, I stumbled onto this video on one of my old hard drives and promptly just uploaded it to YouTube as it was just starting up in 2006. I never really thought much of it until about a year later when I went online to just check it out, I was shocked to find it had been viewed about 400,000 times! What really entertains are the comments I got from all the viewers. From the fun comments to all the insults, they have become the source of my glee.

It is really a curious thing to note that a video that I had put online mindlessly, would garner so much attention, and no other video I have produced since then, with much better production values, has ever even come close to this video's number of views.

If I were to hazard a rough analysis of why it got so many views, I think it had something to do with a few factors.

  • It was uploaded during a time when there were relatively less videos on YouTube.

  • The title of the video is quite a well-known expression (especially in the lexicon of American culture)

  • It was a visual magic trick, and people are generally quite intrigued by magic tricks.

  • The idea that there is no way I could hide nor really break my finger off was something that was probably quite compelling to the viewers.

  • The video thumbnail that was generated just happened to be the actual highlight of the trick, which probably intrigued viewers easily.

  • The video may have been shared by viewers to just showcase what an idiotic video it was.

  • There was a very loud "scream" in the video that shocked quite a lot of viewers, particularly those that had their headphones on. This seemed to add an extra dimension of activity surrounding this video, with people commenting on how they were shocked out of their minds when the scream happened. This totally unexpected aspect of the video was the extra element of surprise that added to the buzz of the video.

Nowadays, YouTube and other video platforms have become such monsters of content that the possibility of getting noticed has diminished significantly. Plus, while people will always long for more content, I think they have been exposed to so much content that it is a little harder for them to be "wowed" by new content, unless it is outlandishly surprising, ironic, amazing or all of those things put together.

I have recently started posting videos again, but I am not doing it to get the kind of attention that my mindless video all those years ago seems to have gotten. Rather, it is just a way of expressing myself and also a way of documenting part of my life, so that I can look back years from now and think, "Wow, I looked so young in these videos and I really did some idiotic stuff....and just for a brief moment in time, 700,000 other people thought so too!"

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