Sometime around March or April, I started watching YouTube videos in the middle of my evening work routines. It was subtle, at first, all suggestions from the carousel on my home page. A few random clips or compilations from the official YouTube channel for The Office, or celebrity interviews that went along with whatever show I was watching or just finished at the time — Schitt’s Creek, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Those few minutes of YouTube distraction were a welcome break from my nightly bouts of catching up on whatever work, personal or professional, that I had left to squeeze into my day.
But as we moved from spring to summer, and I moved to a new place with my boyfriend, and my social life found new meaning, the work remained. Sometimes that happens with work. It’s not bad (to be clear, work is all bad, but you understand what I mean here), it’s just there. And so wanting to drift away from the existence of the work, as my work session, I found myself turning to YouTube more often for a break, or a few breaks, or a half-hour, or even more. And with each passing video, each autoplay and every related clip, my YouTube suggestions got weirder.
The videos weren’t weird, really, just not completely “me.” But they evolved until I was just watching, most recently, Olivia Rodrigo interviews, TikTok compilations, Trixie Mattel makeup tutorials, and playlist franchises titled something like “Random videos I keep on my phone to watch late at night” or “SNL clips that have big Gen Z energy.” As a collection, they are kind of…off, but they’ve also done a great job at doing the one thing I need them to do: keep me from getting my work done.
So in keeping with my unnecessary disclosure of the ways in which I spend my time on the internet, here is but a sampling of all the YouTube videos I’ve watched in an effort to avoid getting any of my work done, typically screened sometime around midnight, or even later. No, I’d rather be sleeping than doing any of that. And no, I’d rather keep watching YouTube videos that are no thoughts just vibes than get any of my work done.