I’m pretty addicted to YouTube these days. I watch a lot of stuff on personal finance. On my favorite sports teams. On philosophy. And ways to live a healthier life in general. I try to support the fellow YouTubing community by providing them with “likes” on their platform whenever possible.
Just to show that I appreciate them for putting out high quality content. After all, “likes” are what most YouTube content creators are after. The more likes you get, the more the YouTube algorithm pushes their videos out to the general public. The more views they get, the greater chance of sponsorships they can get. And eventually, the more money they can make.
It’s the capitalist society that we live in. So at the end of almost every YouTube video that I watch, the person is always asking the viewers to “hit that like button!” I guess the number of views and the amount of likes you get on your videos is a means to measure your success in the YouTube community.
It’s a means to measure how much money you can make, and your status in the public eye. It’s quite an important measurement I have to admit. And you do need some way to measure your status. Otherwise, it’ll just be a chaotic free for all on the platform.
So, there’s nothing wrong with requesting “likes” on your videos. Many people are out there to make a living on YouTube. So, there’s nothing wrong with that. And there are so many successful YouTube artists out there - entertainers, musicians, philosophers, you name it. My heart goes out to them.
However, I’ve also realized that the number of views you get isn’t necessarily indicative of how valuable the video will be for each person. Just because a music video got millions of views doesn’t mean that I find it more important than another video that say has only 50 views. It really is in the eye of the beholder.
So, views really shouldn’t be seen as the end all be all in terms of ways to measure a video. Every person is different. Has their own likes or preferences. So, just because a video his ginormous amounts of views doesn’t make it of greater relative importance to a video with just a few views.
Perfect examples for me are the Dharma Talks that I view for a fellow Ch’An master. It’s a bit abstract. And these talks only get 100 views at most. But, they hold tremendous value to me at least. For me, these talks are about how to lessen suffering in the minds of ordinary human beings. And they have helped me tremendously greater understand the concept of Buddhism and philosophy in general.
I’d take those Dharma Talk YouTube videos over any modern music video that has millions of views any day of the week. And that’s just me. I’m sure everyone has their own preferences too. There are videos out there that only have maybe a few views, yet hold tremendous value to the person viewing.
I think this mentality can hold up in the grand scheme of things. Whatever measurements we use to measure success or value in this world, none of these measurements are definitive and hold up 100%. None of them show true value of the person or human being.
Another measurement that people (including myself admittedly) like to use to measure success is net worth. How much are you worth in terms of monetary value? It’s kind of a soulless way to measure the amount of worth a human being brings to the table. Yet, there is a preoccupation with having a high net worth. Because that indicates success. That indicates financial stability. And to an extent, that is correct. Who doesn’t want to have a stable financial life? One in which they are relatively well off and not in debt?
There’s a reason why it’s such a popular measurement in everyday life. I think it’s important yet to not get too caught up in this measurement neither. Just because someone has a net worth of billions of dollars does not mean that they have a “better” life than you. It doesn’t mean that they are more valuable to the world and contribute more to the world in general. In one sense, they do. But from another perspective, everybody is different. Everyone can contribute their value in different ways.
Even though my net worth is nowhere close to a billion dollars, I still contribute greater value to my immediate family than Elon Musk does. I hold greater value to different types of people. And everyone has their own intrinsic worth beyond simply monetary value. So, be careful of these popular means to measure success. They are valuable in some sense. But, they are not the end all be all.
Worth is in the eye of the beholder. Just because someone has millions of views on YouTube doesn’t mean that their videos will speak to every single person out here on this planet. Just because someone has a net worth of hundreds of billions of dollars doesn’t mean that they are contributing to the well-being of humanity so much more than the average person.
Be careful of measurements. Be careful of quantifying value and defining anything as the end all be all in general. Because life is fluid. Life has value all across the board. It’s not restricted to a solitary number.