BuzzFeed is a pop culture junkie’s dream — a place where videos of cats and essays about various sexual positions somehow integrate seamlessly. Hours of precious time have been lost to its oh-so-relatable quizzes, hooking the average user with content they don’t need, yet somehow can’t resist. You can hear the heartbeats of journalists quicken whenever the entertainment website is sourced as real news, yet the majority of its content somehow fits right in with other mainstream news sources.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent countless hours on the site, pushing aside real obligations for the chance to learn “21 Ways To Open A Bottle That Will Change Your Life”, or cringe over “Shitty Things You Secretly Do.” There are numerous ways BuzzFeed has stolen time out of my everyday routine, but there’s one segment of the entertainment giant that literally takes the cake. As much as I love them, the Tasty videos have got to go.
If you have a Facebook account, you’ve seen them: Short videos detailing exactly how to create beautiful food using raw ingredients, a pair of hands and a heavy amount of editing. In the beginning it started out with desserts, giving step-by-step guides on how to make the perfect sweet treat for your neighborhood foodie. But it wasn’t long until the site expanded its reach, offering recipes for entrees, appetizers and happy hour. BuzzFeed has even created Facebook pages targeted toward specific countries; no matter where in the world you are, Tasty will somehow manage to find you.
What did the public do to deserve this type of cruel distraction? As if the original BuzzFeed videos weren’t enticing enough, now it seems like we’re surrounded on all sides by ultimately useless content. I say useless because it seems exceedingly rare that anyone actually tries to make the recipes. If someone spends all their time watching these videos, when are they going to find the time to actually try and make a geode-themed, three-tier cake? Sure, a video here and there is fine, but now it seems like a challenge to get through your Facebook news feed without seeing at least one set of hands create some magnificently unrealistic confection.
That being said, my real problem with Tasty lies not so much with its recipes, but with the way they’re presented. Mini-video clips aren’t exactly new on the social media scene, and yet it seems like there’s a clip for anything now. Companies such as BuzzFeed, NowThis and The Daily Dot help perpetuate instant gratification in the media with short, fluffy news pieces being the majority of the content they put out. One could argue writing a piece about Tasty videos isn’t hard news, but if you’ve read this far you’ve already put in more effort than it takes to watch a 30-second video clip on Facebook. Being constantly surrounded by short bursts of information could be a main contributor to the fake news problem that Facebook is currently battling. After all, it’s hard to get useful information when you’re only given a brief video clip on a subject.
BuzzFeed’s main success lies in wasting time and the Tasty videos are no exception to that.
It seems that our choice is this: You either resign yourself to a lifetime of scrolling, or seek information via real, but time-consuming alternate avenues. Choose wisely, as the time is all yours.