youtube side effects

Every now and then I find myself having a highbrow discussion and I pretend to understand things I’m not fully across. As long as I get the context, I’m pretty good at nodding and laughing at the right moments. My cover is rarely blown.

My friend Dhugal name dropped Sam Harris into a discussion around sport and religion the other day and I just pretended I knew who he was. From the trajectory of the conversation (and my knowledge of Dhugal), I was pretty sure he must be an atheist of some kind. I looked him up later on youtube – ‘American author/ philosopher and an outspoken critic of religion’. For someone who’s not smart damn I’m clever.

I decided to dig a little deeper. There was an interview on Youtube Sam Harris did  earlier this year on Bill Maher’s show which I quite enjoyed watching. It was an lively discussion. YouTube suggested another video. ‘Yes thank you Youtube, I will watch Harris debating the existence of god with a Christian theologist’… Soon, I’d disappeared into a Youtube wormhole.

For the next 45 minutes, Youtube hammered me with Sam Harris videos. When they ran out it just kept finding more videos of other like minded atheists it thought might appeal to me. I’d had enough but like an irresponsible barman topping up my drink, YouTube just kept lining them up. By the time I was watching Richard Dawkins ‘OWN’ the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was too late. My faith in the existence of a supreme being had been extinguished.

And while I’m at it, why is Spotify now trying to force feed me early 70’s Americana rock just because I looked up one Creedence Clearwater song last week. ‘How about some variety Spotify? 90’s grunge? Or Radiohead? It’s like you don’t know me at all’.

If you like hearing different opinions and listening to diverse music, keep searching for them in the real world and not just on Youtube (or spotify). Their algorithms can give you a very blinkered view of the world (and you might accidentally become an atheist).

What YouTube wormhole have you disappeared into recently? Where did it lead you? Leave a comment below…


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