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.
Sweet Thundering Jesus. Thanks for lowering my already non-existent respect for humanity.
The species that spawned Shakespeare and Ghandi is reduced to making rambling videos about their shopping trips. And not cool shopping trips, like to the dildo store or something, but dumbass crap like contact lens solution from Target.
Die, die, die soulless wenches.
Keep in mind this is just one video, from one user. There are thousands of these things on YouTube. It just gets worse as you watch more and more.
Not to piggy back on your stuff, but I had to vent on my blog about this. I gave you full credit though :).
Ha, I only made it to the 3 minute mark. Had she edited this and only included info about the eye make-up remover and the Ulta make-up, she might actually have something here. I am a girl, so I do have a milk interest in make-up. I don’t understand her whole thing with the contact lens cases, the contact solution and the toothbrush though.
See, I can kinda get that about the make up, especially if there is some review or tutorial portion (and the user above does make some tutorial videos). Still, the haul videos are much more popular.
To me this is the obvious result of our unbridled consumer culture. A child is literally besieged by messages encouraging them to buy, buy, buy. Without any kind of guidance or moderation, a teenager with disposable income can purchase what they want and then make a video like this to share it with the world.
But why? Because they can? Because they get thousands of YouTube hits by doing so?
I have no idea, maybe it’s for the attention, or maybe that’s just the nature of the society they were brought up in. Consumerism is good, and Facebook and YouTube are for sharing every single aspect of your life because that’s just what everyone does.
Wait, there are people who don’t share everything they do?
Just when you thought you knew all the craziness and silliness of the Internet, some how there is always more.
It wouldn’t be the internet if there weren’t crazy things for people to share.
nope..youre not the only person…we’re in the 9th circle of hell.
Well, at least we can work on getting back up to the 8th circle.
It’s the same idea as all of these “Real Housewives of whogivesadamn” shows. These shows have little actual worthwhile content besides showing off how much crap these people have, how spoiled they are, and how little they know about the real world around them, yet their lives are so tragic and full of drama. My roommate watches those shows, and I want to vomit every time one is on.
I agree with many of the posts above, it is really all about pushing the consumer culture, but in a lamely ineffective way that just says “Look at me! I bought THINGS!” and doesn’t really offer anything worthwhile. We have lowered our bar so far, than it is getting to the point that anything is becoming “entertainment” and we aren’t even asking for good talent or interesting content anymore. People just stare, and drool, and click the next video.
Side note: Since we are discussing stupid people. Two awesome situations came up this week.
One: A coworker who is pregnant went to Panera to pick up a coffee. She is staying away from caffeine like a good expecting mother, and asked for a caffeine free latte. The girl behind the counter responded “We only have decaf, is that ok?”
Two: Another friend went to McDonald’s and asked for a half dozen nuggets. The girl replied “I’m sorry, they only come in 4, 6, 9 and 20. Which one do you want?”
It hurts my brain. It really does.
We may be getting dumber, but at least we have the internet to complain about it.
Yeah I agree… THIS SUCKS!!! I did not even watch the video, I read your disclaimer at the bottom first, and descided I did not want to waste my time watching it. Thank you so much for the disclaimer!
The Green Guerilla
I’m glad I could save 13 minutes of your life. I hope you used them well.
Oh. My. Gosh. That is seriously painful. I hadn’t heard of this before.
I’m glad I could ruin you.
Humanity is screwed when people have nothing better to do than make 13min long videos of shopping at Target… I think a what the f**k has this world come to fits in well here.
If I got paid to make 13 minute videos of shopping at Target I would do that full time.
Consumerism in this form is just depressing and sickening. The internet is actually becoming more corrosive than TV. Three cheers for the internet!
The Interwebz is teh best thing evar!!!1!! LOLZ
Ugh. I severely dislike haul videos. I have a friend who is obsessed with ‘unboxing’ videos and even creating them himself. Gag me. I have better things to spend my time on. If I want to buy something, I’ll buy something. I don’t need to watch a haul video to help make up my mind.
Unboxing videos are the Ken doll to Barbie’s haul video.
Watch the video for first 45 seconds, read most of the comments, i felt there is nothing harm in these videos, some people decided to put up something like this doesn’t mean the whole world is going down by standards, if Yes, then i feel websites like wikis and many such informative sites won’t be there. I feel this will evolve to something good or better.
Jesus freakin christ on a crispix, Jay. I want to climb in that video, take her box of unopened cotton swabs and stab my eardrums with them because, like, ya know, those are the kinds of things that you can have for the rest of your life and they never go bad and you know you’re going to use them. Oh I’ll use them alright.
Death by cotton swabs. That sounds slow and painful enough.
WTF? 13 minutes?
I know. I wanted to die after 1.
Thie person must be found and deleted from the gene pool before she can multiply.
If only it were that simple. She’s not the only one.
I’m at the 6 minute mark. I’m going for the whole thing…Anyhow, she is talking so incredibly fast, makes me think she either has some sort of blood sugar problem, ADHD?, or some sort of chemical disorder that makes her brain race.
Or, she is on medication. Crazy medication!
She also seems so desperate to share stuff with people. Maybe she has no friends and is very lonely.
Its pretty sad.
I am guessing she is around 19 or 20, or older? She has stuff toys - this gives me a bad feeling in general.
It would make a very interesting project to analyze on a psychological level.
I can’t believe that people get money if their youtube video gets a certain number of views!
Wow did not know that.
Yeah, YouTube Partners is a kinda cool, kinda crazy program.
HOLY F)(*()&%%^ing Sh&t…. I only made it to the toothbrush, and feel 100x stupider for having done so! This is just plain sad.
In fact, I scrolled back to the top, reading a few comments I first skipped, and just seeing her face made my whole body kind of flinch and assume the fetal position, like I wanted to hide!
Gotta exit this page completely!
Hey, yeah, we might be getting dumber, but your article here also shows that we don’t see a problem with being mean to other people.
You called her “I’m a shameless consumer wh***.” Common, it’s just a teenager with too much time on her hands.
And yeah, I wouldn’t waste my time on watching haul videos either.
And even though dumbing down of people is a pity, I still think being mean and agressive is much more dangerous to our wellbeing.
I feel like some of them are lazy. They stopped trying to get creative and mindlessly post haul videos just so they can say they put up something online.