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Trailer reaction videos - why do people watch these things?

What's up with those trailer reaction videos? I can't recall exactly when these started becoming a thing on the internet, but I remember being puzzled by their existence from the very beginning. Why would anyone be interested in seeing how a stranger physically reacts to something? To this very day, I cannot for the life of me understand the appeal of these videos. More importantly, I can't seem to grasp our culture's obsession of constantly sharing and perceiving third party reactions.

This chase for an instant reaction is unfortunately a staple of the social media age we currently live in. And although I'm pretty far removed from the social media scene, I do see its value and certainly appreciate it's impact on popular culture. But one of the biggest cruxes of social media is how it fosters this constant yearning for immediate validation from someone other than yourself. And I'll refrain from sharing specific examples here, simply because any isolated example is really unfair without the proper context. Moreover, the underlying issue doesn't necessarily come from specific tweets or posts. It's a way of life that some people choose to live by, and it's a choice that ultimately affects your ability to appreciate something on your own.

And not to pick on trailer reaction videos, but they just so poignantly illustrate this particular form of collateral damage inflicted by social media. Since when was it okay to watch other people watch something? These videos glamorize another individual's reaction, and almost demand that this should be a reflection of how you should be reacting as well. Is this the same as reading a review or having a conversation about your thoughts on a movie trailer? Not really. It might fall into the same general spectrum of things, but it would definitely sit at the opposite end of that spectrum. With a review or actual conversation, you're still at the helms of your own personal interpretation. There's a clear barrier, and you're still left to generate your own reaction. These trailer reaction videos take that barrier away, and almost attempt to instruct on the 'correct' way one should be reacting to something.

I'm no sociologist, but I'm pretty sure this somehow plays into the stalker culture that celebritism has so strongly cultivated. We've all become overly curious about how other people live and react to things, that we risk losing our own sense of appreciation. There's nothing wrong with being curious about what other people think, but there should also be boundaries to that curiosity. When you get invited to invade someone's personal space, and literally see how their faces react to something in pre-recorded video format, something about this picture just doesn't make sense.

Maybe I'm just being old fashioned here, but our reaction to something is deeply personal, and something that I certainly cherish quite a bit. When we end up cherishing someone else's reaction instead, it's just a sad thing, period. And to make matters worse, these videos are just so damn annoying. The fact that so many of them get millions of views only makes them a million times more annoying. The act of experiencing something is always a two-way streak. Meaning, it's work for both parties. Movie trailers are created to illicit a reaction from its viewers, and as a viewer, we're tasked with the generating said reaction on our own accord. Don't let someone else do your job for you!

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