I understand that the future (or the “now”) of internet culture is fascinated with younger people watching others who are watching something else… The youth of today would prefer to watch someone else’s gameplay footage, or observe their “emotional” experience as they REACT to the latest episode of The Walking Dead – or hell – how they REACT to the new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. When will this stupid shit stop?
The very idea of someone putting a camera on their face so others can stare at them while they are watching another video is so pretentious and insincere… If you think selfies are the worst offenders of hubristic tendencies, then REACTION videos are the ultimate exercise in narcissism. To assume that anyone else wants to see an up close video of your face while you gasp and bug out your eyes while everybody dies in some shocking season finale – is utter bullshit. That being said – REACTION videos are insanely popular and they are a massive staple of the YouTube community.
I would have to assume that the pewdiepie culture that was developed years ago by those fascinated with “normal” people doing “normal” shit and simply recording themselves doing it in their bedrooms – has now actually spread to the entire population who think that the world is interested in them watching/experiencing videos or playing Call of Duty. This to me is the equivalent of turning around in the theater and staring at someone else who is watching the movie during a pivotal sequence. It’s a form of voyeurism, but it’s so staged that I question every single aspect of REACTION videos and their legitimacy.
(Note: Watch the fantastic South Park episodes #REHASH &#HappyHolograms — they deal with the fascination kids have with observing other people’s gaming streams)
The other side of the argument – if you’ve seen something like say “The Red Wedding” on Game of Thrones before (or you read it YEARS ago and were waiting for the episode on TV) and you feel like looking at your friend’s face right when the shit is about to hit the fan – it’s kind of funny to see them flip out. But that’s someone in my home – that’s someone I know. I don’t give a shit about anyone else and I don’t give a shit about you bugging your eyes out or acting excited in the bottom corner of the screen while the latest Star Wars trailer is streaming around your stupid head.
Bottom line is when you know you are being filmed – you are going to over-exaggerate and attempt to play to an audience. It’s phony.
Unless you have no clue that you are on camera, then you will always be putting on a show for the thousands (sadly — now millions) of viewers who need to watch a dude get really excited when they see Han Solo tell Chewie that they’re home. Please stop watching REACTION videos. It’s not healthy – it is tremendously sad.
PS: This below fake REACTION video of Matthew Mcconaughey watching the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens – hilarious. I don’t condone the real thing – but this is a work of genius.
Fun Fact: Witney Seibold from Crave Online wrote about this a while back too and had the same feelings I do. I know I’m not alone in this quest of hatred.