How-To Videos: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

How-To Video UglyWith the onset of the fame of video sharing websites such as Youtube and Vimeo, came the increase of how-to videos. How-to videos are instructional multimedia presentations that detail the step-by-step process of a particular task. Today, websites such as Youtube and Vimeo are filled with such videos. These how-to videos range from the ones teaching how to fold an origami, how to tie a necktie, how to apply make-up, how to cook a particular dish and how to customize old clothes. The sheer accessibility of these video sharing websites became the foundation of how-to videos’ development. Now, if a task seems particularly difficult, all you need to do is browse through the internet and look for a video that will show what exactly you need to do.

The Good

One of the strengths of the how-to video is in its visual facet. Instructional videos provide clear pictures or detailed video clips of specific steps of a particular task. The efficiency that this feature provides ensures that you can follow and plot your accomplishment in the process. This is a welcome change from the previous form of instructional guides in the internet which go in lists or bullets. If you are following a ‘how to fold an origami video’ for example, you can follow the intricate folding patterns closely through the video clip and see if you are keeping up with the progress the video is making. In contrast, a bulleted instructional guide that merely describes each step in the origami-folding process may seem confusing especially since the visual feature is absent. The how-to videos on the other hand, make seemingly complicated tasks easier. With more visual tasks, such as putting on make-up, following a video guide is easier than just reading a bulleted instructional guide. The video makes it easier to follow the steps ad to ensure that you are actually following the steps.

The Bad

With the variety of how-to videos on the internet, you can look up even the hardest task you can think of. Instructional videos on how to cook meals, how to tinker with gadgets and even how to play certain instruments, can be seen online. However, there are also ill sides to the instructional video industry. For example, just as there are how to videos on wiring alarm systems, there are also videos on how to disarm them. Since you can find instructional videos on almost anything, you cannot discount the possibility of coming across a video that teaches things that should otherwise not be done. Moreover, there are simply tasks that aren’t best done on your own.

The Ugly

DIY tasks may be limited to arts and crafts or the most basic house chores, but when it comes to extremely difficult tasks, you might want to consider hiring professionals. The how-to videos promote self-reliance but you have to accept that there are tasks that are just too huge to handle. When faced with such tasks, maybe DIY isn’t the best idea and how-to videos can do you more harm than good.

By Kimberly Grimms

Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends. She uses the information to create viral and useful content. She mostly addresses young professionals, educating them easy to digest content about business, online marketing, social media management, and even technology.