My Love/Hate Relationship with YouTube

Oh, YouTube!  I love that I can go to their site, and watch graphic uncensored, nothing-fuzzed-out videos of natural childbirth. There are women giving birth in water, women giving birth upright, women giving birth on all fours like deer or elephants, women who yell and scream and curse, women who hardly make a sound as they pop out a baby in their own bathtubs…  so many narrator-less confidence-boosting variations, posted by the proud parents.  I mean, I’m far too private a person to do what these women are doing– letting someone film them in an incredibly vulnerable state like that– but I deeply appreciate their doing so. I know a lot of people who’ve seen that one scary childbirth video in health class, and think the whole mess is just awful, and why on earth would you want to see more of that?  But it’s not like that. For me, it’s more like… seeing more of it makes it seem more normal, and less scary. It’s the imagination that conjures up the scariest things, and YouTube offers an antidote.

But I also hate YouTube. To watch these videos, you have to sign up for YouTube, which is part of the Google-privacy-eating-giant-squid-machine that’s slowly swallowing the internet. I felt compelled to go and create a new throwaway junk email account just to sign up. You have to sign up, because that’s part of assuring YouTube that you’re over 18. Not that they can actually verify that. The problem is, once you say you’re over 18 and you start watching videos deemed “graphic content” on YouTube, 70% of the “recommended videos” in the sidebar and the homepage suddenly become porn, with a freeze-frame from somewhere halfway through the video, in case the title “analxxx” didn’t tell me all I needed to know. I am six months pregnant, and that didn’t happen in a futuristic medical lab under general anesthesia or anything, so yes, I understand that sex and childbirth are in fact related, but…  I don’t even want to think about what most of those “recommended video” people are doing, and I wish there were some way to filter that crap out without filtering out the videos I’m actually looking for.

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