Over 6 billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube each month1, that’s equivalent to 684,477 years worth. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find it on YouTube, whether that’s a baby monkey riding on a pig2 or a coherent explanation to the origin of quantum mechanics, in under 4.5 minutes3!
Experiments and explanations are quite literally at your fingertips without having to step foot in a lab or lecture theatre. Thanks to websites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, science has become more accessible to the everyday user. These websites act as translators, taking difficult scientific concepts and explaining them through everyday situations and items. In this, any viewer of any age can grasp a basic understanding of the laws of physics — it just depends on the approach taken. Torque and force can be explained through American football4 , and there’s an answer if you ever wondered how long it would take to charge a person needing 2500cals from a microwave’s energy input (1.9hrs, just so you know)5. These may not seem like ground-breaking discoveries, but all this leads to getting people to think about science and to show that it’s involved with every action of every day.
The beauty of social media is that any interaction whatsoever increases the exposure of science. Even if you don’t directly like ASAPScience, a friend sharing one of their posts has increased its reach. You might not follow Neil deGrasse Tyson, but a retweet from someone who does may appear in your feed and for that moment you’re made aware of their musings. All of these posts allow replies or comments and get conversations started. Even if it’s purely to satisfy boredom, surely that’s better than not at all?
We’re seeing more and more scientists take the form of “online celebrities”; people who are enthusiastic about topics and just want to share that with others. Social media breaks down the misconception that someone can’t be both scientist and person. People like Elise Andrew, creator of I F***ing Love Science, is the perfect example. Not only is she a female scientist, Elise contributes daily to sharing both entertaining and current scientific posts with over 18.5 million followers6, defying any belief that science is “boring”.
In the current age of technology, we’re glued to smart phones, tablets or some other device in constant search for entertainment. That may sounds depressing, but at the same time, we have more platforms catered to this than ever before. With the aid of social media, any information can be shared in any form, be that video, image, blog post or limited to 140 characters. There are no rules or hoops to jump through. And with that a new widespread appreciation of science has been born.
- YouTube statistics — https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
- Parry Gripp, Baby Monkey — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_sfnQDr1-o
- Minute Physics, The Origin of Quantum Mechanics — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1TVZIBj7UA
- Minute Physics, Football, Physics, and Sym — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-5CDVdglp4
- ASAPScience, Amazing Energy Facts To Blow Your Mind–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnNixMosUIo
- I F***ing Love Science, Facebook — – https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience?fref=ts