Fun and Knowledge with YouTube

APCUG's picture

Whether you have a tablet, smart phone, or any kind of computer, YouTube is one application that can, all by itself, really justify the purchase of your device. YouTube can be found on the internet at youtube.com (that’s easy to remember, right?) or you can download the free YouTube application for any device. Since Google has acquired YouTube, it can also be found on the Google web site (it used to be Google videos).

YouTube is your access to millions of videos made by almost anyone who wants to make them available to you for free. Many of the videos are fantastic and some are just a waste of time. But YOU decide. You search for the videos you want to see simply by entering your search criteria (regular English words) in the search box. Do you have a favorite entertainer?  Just enter their name and you will have access to hundreds of their videos. How about a home improvement project?  Just enter what it is you want to do and see a video of how to do it. Almost anything you can think of, there is probably a video on that subject on YouTube.

Here are just a few examples of fun things to see and explore on YouTube:  Famous people, science experiments, college lectures, cartoons, news, products, companies, cooking, travel, painting, and, well just about everything.

The only thing it seems that YouTube does not give you is fairly recent free movies and TV shows. If you searched for a movie or TV show by its title, YouTube will probably only show you the “trailers” for free. However, YouTube does offer some movies and TV shows for a price. But the real fun for me is seeing all that is available to you at no cost whatsoever – and you do not have to join anything.

You could think of YouTube as the ultimate “window to the world” and all that is in it by just using your computer or device. Why read a printed article or view pictures?  YouTube can SHOW you what other sources only TELL you. Click on the right-pointing arrow to play the video. You can click on any point on the progress bar to go to that point in the video. And you can click on pause (usually the double vertical line symbol), just like you used to do with the old video VHS tape players. After clicking on “pause” you can go back to the list of videos just like you do with Google. Some videos may have a short advertisement the plays before the real video starts.

There is really no limit to what YouTube has to offer. I have yet to search for something that did not have some kind of video to watch on that subject. So do not limit your imagination either. Here are just a few things I have found – each of which can provide hours and hours of videos:

  • Enter your favorite game and learn how to play the game or sport better.
  • Enter “How to…” and learn a new skill or improve the skills you have.
  • Tour your favorite city, park, or attraction.
  • Ride all the roller coasters you want, at any park, and never have to wait in line or get dizzy.
  • Attend a class lecture at a famous university.
  • View long-forgotten videos of famous people and entertainers.
  • View videos of how to use your digital camera or tablet or any device or contraption.
  • See dangerous stunts, magic tricks, and stupid jokes.
  • Discover new things about your favorite hobby.

So don’t hold back – be adventurous and explore the world!  Your brain will thank you for it.

By Jim Cerny, 2nd Vice President, Sarasota PCUG, Florida

www.spcug.org