No Music on MTV


There’s no music on MTV. I know this isn’t a new topic, but I like to play music while I clean. Or cook. Or read. Or ignore that the kids sound like they about to jump through the ceiling while they play upstairs. So…I often go to YouTube. I like to be able to search for specific songs and find new music based on those selections. Plus, I like to teach the kids about QUALITY music like “Thriller”.

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When I started teaching a few years ago, I learned of another “genre” of YouTube video–one that had nothing to do with music or the latest “challenge” or even fluffy animals. I learned of THE EDUCATIONAL VIDEO. I quickly began inserting YouTube videos into lectures and making new folders for each class that I taught. Blood collection procedure from the 1930s? Check. Parody video of a patient with red cell antibodies? Yep. Parasites from various sources? But of course.

This excitement has been renewed once more as I found public health videos this past week. YouTube is an ideal platform for public health information because it is easy to access and it allows anonymity in gathering information. You Tube can be accessed from anything with an internet connection, allowing many individuals to view the videos. According to YouTube statistics, YouTube videos are available in 61 countries, over 1 billion unique users visit each month, and YouTube reaches more 18-34 year-olds than any cable network. This allows for easy and rapid dissemination of information through many barriers.

Another, and perhaps more important, feature is the ability to watch YouTube videos anonymously. HIV, among other conditions, still has a stigma associated with it. Individuals may not understand the risk associated with infection, may not know how to identify the symptoms, or may feel isolated after diagnosis. An effort made by We Make the Change posts videos titled “Faces of HIV” in which patients with HIV share their stories.

Faces of HIV


These videos provide more than a message. They provide support. They provide proof that infection can happen to anyone engaging in risky behavior.

YouTube videos can also address topics such as racial stereotypes  in a way that makes the subject matter easy to understand and identify. By addressing stereotypes in a non-confrontational way, the videos are better able to show how ridiculous the behavior and comments are in more of a non-threatening manner.


Using YouTube for public health campaigns can increase the views and responses of the public because the videos are easy to view from many types of devices and can be used as a source of information and anonymity for controversial or difficult topics.





11 thoughts on “No Music on MTV

  1. Ah! Comedy is such a wonderful way to provide not-so-subtle hints to people acting ridiculous. Bloody hell! Haha. I do find that some public health subjects are uniquely difficult to joke about, like STIs and child morbidity. Still, there has to be a way to talk about these things without feeling like you are bringing down the mood of an entire room and people no longer want to make eye contact with you.

    • That is a fantastic lead picture… I like how it deconstructs some of the public health banter and catch words we are inundated with. To Caricia’s point, using humor can be pretty sensitive at times, particularly when operating in cultural situations different from our own. Check-pointing content with users can be helpful to avoid those “foot-in-mouth”moments and help fine-tune messaging. The more design feed-back loops and user engagement the better.

    • I was surprised at the amount of information that I found in YouTube that could be used for public health purposes and is presented in a way that will hold the attention span of the average adult (I test this theory on my kids often). While humor is often an easy way to get a video noticed and remembered (i.e. “Dumb Ways to Die”), I have seen some other wonderful ways that people have created a personal connection or “entertainment” value in their videos.

      I was also pleasantly surprised at the amount of helpful images that I found on Pinterest. I have been an avid Pinterest user for a few years, and often use it for my lectures as well, but never thought to search public health images on it! Sharon, I found a few more Ryan Gosling public health images that I’ll have to send to you! 🙂

  2. Holly, Love the video. What a strong message with 2 minutes of humorous video!! One thing is person’s accent, the other thing is how one look.

  3. Excellent post! I had no idea that YouTube was more popular than cable, but I should have guessed. In fact, we just canceled our cable subscription in favor of Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming video sites.

  4. Youtube is such a powerful tool! The reach is global and so if you have public health campaign and want to make it gets out there youtube is a great way to get your video message across. For some areas in the world this is the only that information is given to them since some countries monitor and control news outlets and citizens rely on blogs and youtube to get information in and out. Great job teaching your kids about quality music… Thriller is the best album ever!!!

  5. Love the “asian” video. I agree that youtube is a powerful tool. I like your comment about it being anonymous. Nice way to put it because anonymity really is an issue when youre talking about sensitive stuff. Great job!

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