Now, if you're anything like me, your free time might be plagued with the temptation of random YouTube videos. From cat cuteness to random sports fails, YouTube has managed to make its audience stay even longer, by automatically going to another video similar to your interests. I have literally stayed up till 3am watching random crap, because of the marketing skills of this social media giant.
Here in Nashville when we have free time you want to avoid music at all costs,YouTube as a result is not a great place to browse through for non-music related videos. All until I decided to focus more on watching the Ted talk channel than anything else. Despite not sounding like the most interesting thing in the world, Ted talks can actually be a great use of your free time, especially if you watch one that intrigus you. In case you were wondering what Ted talks are, here is a definition of the goals from the Ted Talk’s website: ‘TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world” (TED.com). Here are some of the Ted talks I have seen recently, and that I would definitely recommended for both new and regular Ted Talk watchers:
‘10 ways to have a better conversation’
I personally found this Ted talk really helpful as I struggle to make small talk naturally with strangers. She gives great tips on how to really listen to the person you're talking to, how to ask questions that will get more than yes or no answers, and also how to engage more with the person you are talking to.
'The skill of self Confidence'
I really liked this video because the guy himself clearly had confidence and knew how to help you gain some for yourself! A pro soccer coach, he helped build up his team by using tactics to raise confidence through praise, and not constant recognition and fixture of players faults.
'The power of vulnerability'
My songwriting class and I watched this to end our class the other day. This particular video has a lot of memorable take outs, including the fact that vulnerability is beautiful, and that the most open, honest, confident people tend to be those who are willing to be vulnerable.
'A warrior’s cry against child marriage'
A powerful testimony from a young lady from Malawi, not easy to hear but brings awareness to a devastating cultural norm that is practiced as an age old tradition in Malawi. Leaves you feeling empowered as a woman, and ready to support equal rights for young girls on the other side of the world.
'Sophie Scott: Why we laugh'
If you need a funny Ted talk this is your one, both interesting and also comedic. You will hear different laughs but also different facts about exactly why laughing is so good for us, and why we laugh in the first place.Don’t be mistaken in thinking that YouTube is not good for other non-music related content, certainly not! I am a bit of a documentary nerd as many of my friends can tell you. I love learning about other people's lives, stories of perseverance and awareness, but it got to the point where it was taking over my time, and became more of a place for me to get away from people than to socialize after just watching something for fun. Ted Talk’s is a good alternative for nerdy introverts like me, the videos themselves aren't usually longer than 15 minutes, yet they manage to cram in a lot of information and sometimes comedy into those minutes. Providing you with a break from studying, music or just other people but not dragging you away for too long.