Giving anyone the ability to publish anything has both its merits and perils. On one hand, we are able to share more information than ever before, whether in the form of videos, podcasts, or the written word. We can learn and laugh together faster than ever before.
It’s also given us such horrible, horrible things as MySpace, AOL, and the code spawned from Satan know as Bonzi Buddy.
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you an abomination from the third circle of internet hell. The haul video.
(If you can’t see the video, you’re really not missing anything. If you want to torture yourself, click here to watch it on YouTube. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
In a haul video, a person shows off his/her purchases in an overly long, mindless ramble. There is no real critique of the product, because typically the person shooting the video bought the product with his or her own money and people buy things they like.
Most haul videos go on for ten minutes. If you’re attempting to watch the video above, notice how fast she talks, and how little is actually said. I watched four of these to research for this post, and I’m really killing myself for losing forty minutes of my life watching these.
I don’t get the appeal of these videos at all. To me, they scream, “I’m a shameless consumer whore.” It’s disgusting. If there was any review of the products at all, I’d get it. If there was even the slightest hint of visual narrative, I’d get it it. But these things don’t exist when someone is just talking to the camera and holding things up.
What’s crazy is how popular these videos are. The YouTuber I’ve featured above, juicystar07, has over a half million subscribers and so far, users watched her videos over one hundred million times. Because of this ridiculous popularity, many of these YouTubers become YouTube partners, which pays them based on the views. That money can go into buying more stuff for hauls, which makes for more videos, which pays them more money, and so on.
Am I the only person disgusted by this cycle of blatant consumerism? Whatever happened to describing the product and telling people if it’s any good? Why do we have to show off everything we’ve purchased from a bottle of contact solution to a tube of lip gloss? I feel like I’m going to be sick.
And next time I go shopping, I’m making a haul video. I’m sure everyone wants to see my next kitty litter haul.