Watching every video on YouTube would take more than 400 years

Monday, 07 June 2010

Erik KruseTelevision, radio and newspapers have all been outstripped by the Internet, and all of them have gone online - giving users the choice of what, when and how much to watch, listen to and read. And the sheer volume of choice is astounding: according to Erik Kruse, a senior adviser with Ericsson, it would already take a total of 412.3 years to watch every video posted on YouTube from start to finish...

"People sitting at home watching TV with their laptops open on their laps" is the way Kruse describes a situation in which there is a growing need to expand virtual communications networks in every way possible. If people aren't online, he says, they feel lonely. Worst affected by this phenomenon are children and young people, for whom the line between the virtual and the real worlds is a very blurry one.

Kruse provides a personal anecdote to underline the point: "Last Christmas I was driving with my 12-year old son to go and visit his grandmother. He took out his Nintendo, in the car, and wanted to get onto the Internet through it using WiFi." The pre-teen was taken aback when his father - a senior adviser working in one of the world's most renowned information technology companies - informed him that the car did not have its own wireless Internet coverage: "Dad, you are such a loser."

Kruse says that there would need to be 40 hours in a day for the average person to be able to play an active role in every communications network, and as many as 49 for users between the ages of 15 and 17.

As such, the traditional media will need to understand and adapt to the changed needs of the next generation. Kruse recommends that television become more interactive, because young people want to have a say on issues - they want to be taken seriously and feel as though they have a part to play in shaping society.

At the same time, these youngsters want the technology and information flows to be as easy to understand as possible. Kruse has dubbed them the RTFM generation ('Read The F***ing Manual'), since young people these days can't be bothered trawling through user instructions and tend to chuck them into a corner to gather dust.

However, the current trends in the information and media sphere by no means require people to go along with them unconditionally. People should regard what is happening as something they can play with to suit themselves. Kruse also sees danger signs in the fact that socialising on the Internet, which is growing ever broader and more time-consuming, could overheat. As such, the senior analyst with Ericsson is convinced that future consumers of media will be much more demanding and selective than they are today.

Erik Kruse shared his thoughts on new media and the media-related behaviour of young people at the media conference held in Kumu art museum in Tallinn on 11 and 12 June 2009 organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia, Estonian Public Broadcasting ERR and the Nordic Public Service Broadcasters.

Newsletter sign up

  • news
  • events
  • funding deadlines
  • recent publications