By CARIN MOONIN
Shh! A secret! Most of us go online at work. You’re probably reading this at work. (As long as you’re reading it, I don’t care where you are.)
Unsurprisingly, work is where we do the bulk of our secret internetting. Emphasis on the secret. I mean, we all know you probably shouldn’t be watching like, naked people, or stalking eBay—but really, every time you’re on the Internet at work, as long as it’s not relevant to your job, isn’t it all NSFW? Even if it’s lunchtime and you’re surfing with your sad desk lunch. Even if you’re counting down the minutes left in the workday, sometime after you’ve snarfed your 3pm sugar, around I’ll-never-get-outta-here-o’clock, when you check the news and anticipate your evening at home watching pirated TV shows online: you’re still using your company’s time to go online. (It’s their fault, right? They should make your job more interesting!)*
But I’m not here to lecture you. Besides, if I took all the time I fucked around online while at one job or another and laid it in a straight line…I’d have cured cancer by now.
No, I’m here to hate on your videos.
I don’t want to watch them.
Especially the long ones.
It’s harder to hide videos from nosey co-workers and looming bosses. Even if you’re tethered to your machine by headphones. People who do this: how do you do it? I’m a word girl, not a picture one. It’s hard enough for me to find a new image for this column every week (and even then my editor will find a better one instead, because she is awesome). Please don’t make me sit through more than a minute of anything homemade. Especially GoPro footage.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a lame, too-long video is that frightening, gigantic textbook you never bothered opening.
This week, the buzz is all about Instagram releasing a video product. We don’t know how long the maximum length of the videos on it will be. I’m praying it’s short. Really short. CNet had this video about it, but I couldn’t be bothered to watch it. Forget tl; dr for articles, I’m tl;dw for videos. Who has the time? You can’t skim a video like an article. You just can’t.
Two minute warning, people. Actually, make that 90 seconds. That’s all the time you get if you’re auditioning for America’s Got Talent, for example. And those people are waiting in line for days!
Vine might have it right. Six seconds. Lovely. Easily hide-able at work. Six seconds is all I need of your baby trying to sing happy birthday or your drunkle getting kicked in the nuts. This Chron piece says it all—and a lot cuter, since there is a cat video.
Because: cat videos! That’s who gets it. People who post cat videos. I’m serious. They’re short. They’re cut well. If you want more, you can see a movie made out of them. (Though the promotional video is three minutes too long). Cat gifs! They are all the video you need.
The Internet was made for cats.
*(FYI, I wrote this late at night and edited it early morning at 6am before work. Just so you know. Also, that might explain a lot.)
Carin Moonin is a writer living in Portland, Ore. Sometimes she'll even tweet about things she hates at @carinwrites.
Photo by Jamie Alexander/Flickr