Why reaction videos matter

Reaction videos are hot, reaction videos are now and reaction videos tell us so much about what will matter in the future. But before we get into the why, let’s cover off the what.

Reaction Videos: People filming themselves react to seeing something for the first time. In the bottom corner they’ll play what the are watching, while the major part of the screen is their reaction. They often comment while watching, stop the video to give an opinion and generally let their emotions flow.

These days there are reaction videos to all manner of pop culture events – politics, sport, music, events, you name it. They can be reactions to something recent or something from decades ago. My personal fave is the old stuff, because we get to see the generational social impact. YouTube is the place to get your fix. Personally, I love watching people react to music for the first time. Some of my favourites include:

Joey Reacts – I love his sincerity.

Lost in Vegas – These guys force themselves to have an open mind & explain their feelings.

King KTF – This guy brings in fun quirks and sound effects to show his emotion.

While watching reaction videos, it really remind us what it is like to be a human. That feeling, that inexplicable emotion when we are exposed to something for the first time, something radical, different or special. A robot can’t ever feel it like we can. It’s almost as if we barrack for their emotions to flow, we hope they felt what we felt – whether the emotion is hilarity, joy, disgust or anger – it’s the connection we want to see. We want confirmation of emotion which reminds us ‘Hey, I’m just like you too’. We want to know we’re in it together.

The thing about these videos, is that the reaction doesn’t matter as much as understanding that other people, strangers in fact, feel like we feel, that we are the one species.

The future of what matters to us as a species will be how we make each other feel. While technology will continue its merry path of increasing its functionality exponentially, the thing that will matter socially and economically in an automated world is the experiences we share, regardless of what they happen to be.