Mindless TV has reached the internet

I recently got caught in a YouTube Shorts wave. If you’re not familiar, this basically YouTube doing TikTok or Instgram reels-type content: <1min videos, somewhat targeted to your interests and watch behaviours, but pretty random in terms of what it’s showing you if you just keep scrolling.

I found myself scrolling through 30mins of content, and remembering just one video. It was such a waste of time (other than me actually wanting to take my mind off somethign that I was working on), and it got me thinking about how I used to do this back in the day mindlessly scrolling through TV channels looking for something that was vagely interesting.

It seems to me that on some level humans appreciate the mindlessness, to be distracted by something random. Of course there’s the “slot machine” effect that keeps people hooked to keep flicking to the next channel or video. But sometimes we just don’t want to make any choices other than to “turn the device on” and let ourselves be distracted.

So I’m wondering about healthier alternatives…

Because all this mindless, crack-like easy distraction reminds me of what JK saw coming: Virtual Insanity.

For me, my toddler definitely works! When she’s not available, there are some music algorythms that I like (mainly putting parts of my harddrive to random so that I’m in charge of the selection). I also sometimes like to pull a random book out my shelf and flick to a random page to see what happens.

Any ideas you’d add into the mix?