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This song is the cure for YouTube’s most annoying affliction

Jonathan Mann is making the world a better place, one cellphone turn at a time.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 10, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 11:42 am CDT

Jonathan Mann is making the world a better place, one cellphone turn at a time.

YouTube viewers have been suffering from Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS) for years. It’s an affliction where people film videos in portrait mode (holding the phone vertically) and post them online. The video works just fine, but it has the unfortunate side effect of adding two giant black sidebars to either side of the video. Plus, with the narrow framing, much of what you’re trying to film gets cut out.

Chescaleigh put out her own plea to end VVS a few weeks ago, but the task of teaching people how to correctly film with their smartphones is not a task for one person.

Mann finally tackled VVS in Song a Day #1647, and in it he offered a simple solution: “Turn your phone sideways.”

He wants to see every public fight, cat video, and giggling baby that YouTube has to offer, but it’s a lot easier to view these things when they’re filmed correctly. He goes around New York to correct those mistakes, offering himself as the ultimate example. Even he looks better when you turn your smartphone sideways.

It’s how video was meant to be seen. Your screens are horizontal for a reason.

Photo via Jonathan Mann/YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2013, 4:05 pm CDT