We've all experienced that moment of dread when someone sends you a four minute-long YouTube video that you "have to watch." But thankfully, to fight those impossibly long obligations, "YouTube haikus" exist. What are YouTube haikus? They're short videos — think 30 seconds or less — that successfully communicate whatever it is they're getting at quickly and succinctly. Basically, YouTube haikus are here to meet all of our needs for the days we simply can't "just listen" or "just watch" yet another long video.
The term was coined by Reddit in a community created four years ago, r/YouTubeHaiku. The sub's sidebar defines YouTube haikus as "any poetic video under 14 seconds"; if you want to go slightly longer, YouTube "poetry" videos are defined as "15 to 30 seconds." Need to make someone laugh? Here is a great clip of someone doing something silly in 10 seconds. Want to share some gorgeous music? Listen to it in 30 seconds and then decide if you want to search the artist more yourself. They're perfect little bites to add some spice to your day.
As Luke Winkie at the Daily Dot jokes, "Aggressively stupid homemade clips that get their point across in under a minute are the reason the internet is great." Though this is said in jest, Winkie raises a good point. When it comes to the internet, it can feel like our attention spans are capped at a lower amount of time than we might experience otherwise. Indeed, some research suggests that because of the internet, our attention spans are literally shorter — so, given how wary we've become of "wasting" time on a long video to see if it pays off in value at the end, it's to be expected that short little tidbits would begin to rise in popularity. (Come to think of it, this probably explains our love of Vines and short Instagram videos, too.)
So, before I lose your attention, let's check out some of the most popular YouTube haikus currently circulating r/YouTubeHaiku. They might be just what you need to give yourself a break today.
A Dying Car Alarm Gives Us A Really Musical Beat
This Duet Between A French Horn And Chair Is Mesmerizing
This Man's Selfies Are Strangely Fascinating
Treat Yourself To Some Light Jazz, Courtesy Of This Car
Definitely check out the full range of submissions over at r/YouTubeHaiku on Reddit!