Flashback: Five Years of YouTube

Five years ago today the first video was uploaded to YouTube. “Me at the Zoo” is only 18 seconds long and is just that, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim talking about elephants.

It is crazy to think that this 18 second video started a revolution. I don’t know where we would be without YouTube.

I use YouTube daily – on this blog, to share my films, and for my own entertainment. I even used YouTube during my Senior Symposium presentation last Friday to avoid an inevitable DVD failure. Without it, I don’t think I could function.

Yet as I write this I am reminded of when P. Sitney Adams visited my avant-garde cinema class last fall. As he said: “There is a special place in hell for YouTube.”

While YouTube has been an integral factor in the social media explosion of the last five years, it has also destroyed how we watch movies. Why go to the movies, if you know that you can just watch 10-minute sequences of a movie on your computer for free? Of course, like everyone else, I know this but that doesn’t stop me from watching a movie or television show on YouTube. It’s a messy cycle that we will probably never get out of.

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