Autoplay Videos Are the Enemy

I’ve long felt like some kind of aberration because of how I feel about online video. It seems absolutely insane to me that anyone would ever want to be surprised by an opportunity to watch a video. It’s such an interruption! You have to stop everything you’re doing and devote all your senses and attention to it. Apparently, the tech media-industrial complex thinks I’m wrong, if Facebook’s native video ambitions are an indication, and that must mean that the usage numbers say I’m wrong, too.

But at least I’m not alone. Rob Horning also seems surprised:

“Autoplay videos, to me, are trying to hijack my experience of time and slow me down to that of a video unfolding at its inexorable pace. When given the choice between reading and viewing video, I will always choose to read, because I control the pace. Watching video feels like a kind of entrapment to me; i get impatient having to submit to someone else’s idea of what pace ideas should be disclosed. … Autoplay videos are always inherently ‘out of place’; they are fundamentally unwanted. They are intruders. They are the enemy. When you watch them, you have, in a sense, become the enemy.”

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