Monthly Archives: April 2023

Guilty pleasure: I kinda like reaction videos

My daughter turned me on to “reaction videos” a few years back. I don’t remember the first one, but I remember it was so that I could laugh at the reactions of the person making the video. Truth be told, I did laugh…and then we laughed at a whole bunch more of them.

If you don’t know what I mean by reaction videos, they are short videos of people’s reaction to things they’ve never experienced before. Mostly, you’ll find someone in a demographic that doesn’t stereotypically listen to a certain style of music—they’ll listen, and you’ll see their reaction caught on video. I’ve seen kids listening to Led Zeppelin, black folks (who would normally listen to rap) listening to things like Metallica, some Appalachian banjo pickers listening to Rap… I’ve even seen reaction videos of Indian men reaction to foods (usually junk food) from the U.S. they’ve never tried before. Often, they’re pretty funny.

I watched a bunch with my daughter…then I didn’t really think much about them for some time. But I’ve recently started watching some again, but this time with a slightly different lens. Y’see, one of the draws of the reaction videos is that the person in the video has never experienced whatever it is. But then I realized… I’m witnessing someone listen to a song/music that meant so much to me at some point in my life.

I will never be able to listen to Queen’s SOMEBODY TO LOVE again for the first time, or Aerosmith’s SWEET EMOTION, or Led Zeppelin’s STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Sure I can listen and appreciate them, but never again, for the first time. I realized I was watching these people experience something—for the first time—and…well, my mind was a bit blown and…if I can be honest, a bit emotionally moved.

But then I thought about a period of time when my daughter was in college and she’d pop by my home office—probably on her way to bed—and then three hours later would she finally head that way because she’d just let me spend those three hours sharing music and videos with her—for the first time.

Yeah. It was pretty special.

Yeah. I’m a sap. So sue me.

But I do look at those reaction videos just a little bit differently now.


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