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10 thrilling ways you can live vicariously through YouTube

Admit it. You've always wanted to fly around on a jetpack.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 24, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 12:51 pm CDT

Just by clicking your mouse, you can cliff dive, ski, or get pounced on by a dog.

Finances, skill levels, and just plain fear can keep us from doing most activities. It’s a good thing, then, that it’s so easy to live an awesome life vicariously through YouTube . The videos of those far more adventurous than we could ever hope to be—people who apparently do not care about their cameras—give us get a front row seat to all the crazy things they’ve witnessed, but without risking physical harm or property damage.

From breathtaking endeavours to painful mistakes, here are some life experiences that you can enjoy through YouTube.

1) Dive from a cliff!

Even if you are within traveling distance of a cliff, jumping from one is a major turn-off thanks to the overabundance of sharp rocks below. YouTube user Kenny Daniel has solved any potential impalement problems by allowing us to witness his 75-foot leap into water.

2) Wipe Out While Skiing!

Want to ski without the hassle of cold weather, expensive equipment, and instructors telling you that you’re going to have a bad time? Ski with A Donnelly, who winds up having a bad time himself.

3) Jump on a trampoline!

Trampolines are fun; no one will argue with you. Unfortunately, most of them happen to be located outside, tucked away in the backyards of people you never happen to be friends with. Enjoy Paul Siciyhvernen’s solution to that problem and go for a lunch-losing romp on his family’s trampoline.

4) Survive a car wreck!

Have you ever wanted the thrill of getting into a car accident without all of that pesky damage to your body and vehicle? Thanks to farhaj2005—and many others, particularly in Russia—you can get into the same nerve-wracking wreck over and over. 

5) Get hit by a baseball!

It’s the same story: Whenever you go to a professional baseball game, not a single foul ball or home run makes its way to your part of the stands. Chances are, you are not thankful for this. A camera set up by PJCiarrocca, capturing a child hitting baseballs with varying degrees of success, will have you thinking otherwise.

6) March in a college graduation!

Did you skip your high school or college graduation ceremony? If you always wanted to enjoy the thrill of seeing nothing but a sea of mortarboard hats and receiving a potentially useless slip of paper from an aging educator, look no further than gortexKID’s video. Congrats, grad!

7) Fall down on a treadmill!

Exercise is great, except for that nagging fact that it involves exercising. Thanks to Elixired, however, you can now get in some miles on—or more likely, off—the treadmill. Hey, not everybody can be OK Go.

8) Crash while mountain biking!

Once we get cars, our bicycle riding skills take a backseat in terms of personal mobility. Thus, mountain biking is out of the cards for many of us. Join GlobalLeaks on a mountain biking adventure and discover the hard way that perhaps he, too, should have stuck to driving.

9) Use a jetpack!

If you don’t want to know what using a jetpack would be like, there may be something wrong with you. Everyone wants to fire up one of these devices and take it for a nice little flight—even if we’re a bit terrified of falling out of the sky. Join JetLevSouthWest on a short voyage over suddenly-churning water.

10) Play with your dog!

Is your dog boring (or non-existent)? Do you have allergies or a landlord who won’t let you get a pet? Not to worry! Megan Eilts’ dog has got your problem solved in this video, giving you all of the playful joy without any of the slobber.

Photo via A Donnelly/YouTube

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*First Published: Jun 24, 2013, 9:00 am CDT