By W.E.B. Saturday
These days, younger audiences are apparently spending more time on YouTube than any other digital platform – or at least that’s what we’re being told. But would it surprise you if I mentioned none of them are liking and subscribing to my carpentry channel “Going Against the Grain with W.E.B. Saturday”?
That just doesn’t sit right.
Every time I open a newspaper, I see something about teenagers flocking to YouTube to watch content that’s relevant to their lives. But how can that be true when few things are as relevant to teens’ lives than a video of me varnishing a nice piece of hickory that I’ll later sculpt into a foot stool for my wife Wanda? Something doesn’t smell right, and it’s not the varnish.
Let’s ask ourselves what’s more likely: a video where I demonstrate how to dovetail an unforgiving piece of maple into a mortise and tenon failing to garner millions of views OR the notion that my woodworking films are the victim of YouTube’s antiquated and outdated algorithm choices? To me, the answer is more clear cut than the walnut armoire I keep my collection of board games in.
Riddle me this: if teens connect so strongly with YouTube because it feels more authentic than what’s on the television, then why does the video where I hacksaw my right ring finger clean off while I was shaving a stubborn cut of birch only have 37 views?
If YouTube continues to sweep me under the rug like I’m a pile of oak shavings, I’ll have no choice but to chop this canoe shaping video into 287 eight-second installments and post it on an Instagram story.