~100 Words #3: Test Please Ignore

You wanna see the debris of the internet? Search “test please ignore” on YouTube and sort by upload date. This proves to be one of the few ways that you can get a glimpse into the discarded chaff used in the creation of purified “content.” This entry is a brief collection of some videos I found on my most recent dive.

To start: this dog with some melody behind it.

A stream of a stream of BBC Hindi

A “test meeting to troubleshoot cutout issue” by the municipality of Anchorage, Alaska

A streamer testing what looks to be their pokemon card unboxing setup

And the setup of a church livestream

I don’t know what to think of these, but it reminds me of people watching which in turn makes me think about the difference between looking through these videos and looking through social media. These videos request to be ignored, and so browsing them shares that harmless voyeurism with people watching (not everyone, but I think most people would default to preferring to not be concentrated on randomly in a crowd) that doesn’t come as easily on social platforms. Whenever we look at strangers on those platforms, we are seeing something someone actively chose to put out into the world. For test streams, it seems the opposite. Hidden behind a veil of purposeful lack-of-SEO-optimization and the knowledge that nobody actually would find any of this content entertaining, “test please ignore” videos give us an archive of those forgettable interim moments between things that actually happen in life (both irl and online).

Things to follow up on: what the sociology of those boring interim moments are, more test videos, more videos meant to be ignored.

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