GAYS MILLS - We are blessed with six great neighbors. John and Merri Barlow, Rob and Mary Babb, and Dan and Emily McCarthy are just the best people to be living near. They loan me stuff, wave when honked at, offer and provide help when needed, and we all mind our own business most of the time.
But we’ve got another neighbor, an electronic neighbor, that is helpful, available 24 hours a day, educational, funny, entertaining, non-judgmental, interesting, wise and almost all-knowing. And you have such a neighbor too. That neighbor is the computer site YouTube.
YouTube is like living next to the smartest person you can imagine. I have yet to be stumped when looking to YouTube for help and advice on a wide smorgasbord of topics. You name it, plumbing, auto repair, gardening, fencing, construction, cooking, varmint control, painting, electrical work, this ‘guy/gal’ has all the answers.
Anyone and his or her brother or sister can post stuff on the YouTube site. The possibilities are overwhelming. The videos are usually short and to the point.
All levels of ability and skill are available in the actual making of the videos. Sometimes, the audio recording is less than optimal. The hand-held camera work may induce some slight motion sickness. However, the people who make the videos are sincerely trying to help whoever tunes in.
Each video shows how many views it has had and how long ago the video was produced. You can give feedback directly to the maker of the video and make comments about what you see. Each viewing is like a short field trip to this ubiquitous ‘neighbor’ and you are bound to learn something every time you watch a video.
A simple case in point–a few years ago, I noticed my car’s headlights were not as bright as they should have been. The lenses were getting cloudy. It was like the car had cataracts. I just assumed I’d have to buy new lenses, and they looked expensive; large, odd-shaped things that they were. A quick look at YouTube taught me what to do and how to save money. The solution: clean the lenses with toothpaste! Worked like a charm.
Warning: YouTube can be sort of a black hole that you can get lost in. Type in something like ‘splitting wood’ and be prepared to see all manner of methods of that simple task. As you scroll through the possibilities, something is going to entice you into clicking on a video. There are scores of options to split wood: a simple ax or mall, commercial hydraulic units, and a plethora of clever and creative homemade methods and machines, some of which look downright dangerous. You may spend more time than you planned just exploring the possibilities of splitting wood, but you would be learning all the while.
Most homes have computers or smart devices these days, and those are what you need to have to access YouTube, which is a free site. If you don’t have a computer or device you can still utilize YouTube by visiting the public library; they all have computers you can use.If you haven’t explored the YouTube site yet, give it a try.