Consumer culture takes over YouTube?

Marketplace Staff Mar 5, 2010
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Consumer culture takes over YouTube?

Marketplace Staff Mar 5, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

TESS VIGELAND: At the end of last week’s show, we opened a window onto something in the virtual world that baffles me to this day. They’re YouTube videos called “hauls,” that’s H-A-U-L-S, where folks detail their shopping loot.

Girl on a YouTube video: I just wanted to show you what I got at the mall today. I bought three belts, because I really needed some belts…

Reaction to our story ranged from “thumbs down, just another example of materialism overriding what is really important” to “hey, it’s just life documentation and a way to review products.” Well, one of our listeners, Moni Hill, was inspired.

Moni Hill on a YouTube video: Hi guys. I’m going to film my haul for you.

Oooooh geez.

Hill: …And let me show you a sample of what I buy. For taco nights on Fridays, I got these whole grain corn taco shells. And I thought, “Well that’s just…”

OK, it’s a parody. But what intrigued us was what Hill told us later about the haul video experience. Her first thoughts upon viewing?

Hill: Is this how humans, is this how we define ourselves, by what we buy and what we consume and how prevalent is the consumer culture?

But then, it became a teachable moment for her and her young daughters.

Hill: You can learn a lot about someone by the things they buy. Maybe that does tell the inside story. I mean, I had a lot of fun poking at myself, because I do claim to be this natural, back-to-the-earth kind of mom. But I’ll shop at Sam’s for broccoli. So that’s going to be on my next haul.

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