On the internet, we can vicariously consume more stuff than we could ever actually buy, touch or even see in our lifetimes. Are these videos eliminating a desire, or creating one? Episode 6 of our video series.
As an American, I’m a big fan of stuff. Products, merchandise, wares — I love it all. I enjoy acquiring stuff, keeping that stuff until it degrades in worth, and then replacing it with more stuff.
Now, thanks to the generous YouTube community, I no longer need to undergo this costly and laborious process in order to satisfy my stuff interest. I can just watch unboxing videos, where a product is crystallized at its most valuable moment — right when it comes out of the box.
Are unboxing videos making us more or less reliant on stuff? We binge on them in “Internetting” Episode 6 to find out.
On second thought, can we rebox all of this? Thanks,
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Amanda Hess is a critic-at-large. She writes about internet culture for the Arts section and contributes regularly to The New York Times Magazine. She has written for such publications as Slate, ESPN the Magazine, Elle and Pacific Standard. @amandahess•Facebook