The Uneducated and Impoverished YouTube Generation


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When TV went Main Street USA in the mid-1960’s, millions of families changed their daily routine. Instead of reading or chatting it up with family, friends and neighbors, almost overnight, millions instead sat in front of their TV for hours at a time.

Adding fuel to the fire, in the late 1990’s our TV addiction was augmented by a new addiction – the Internet. Thanks in large part to the success of Internet giant YouTube, millions today have brand new addiction – videos.

What’s the point?

According to my Rich Habits research, 96% of those who rise up from poverty or the middle-class to become wealthy all share one thing in common – they read to learn every day for 30 minutes or more. Self-made millionaires are habitual readers and their reading habit leaves them with very little time for video watching.

While these self-made millionaires, or the “evil 1%”, continue to learn, grow and amass fortunes, the rest of society, the 99%, are falling behind, contently watching videos. This 99% has eschewed reading, the font of learning, for video watching.

If you’ve ever watched any of those man on the street interviews, where the interviewer asks young people about facts everyone should know, you understand what I’m saying. The YouTube generation does not have a grasp on everyday facts. They lack fundamental knowledge because they are not reading anymore. And they are not reading anymore because they are spending what free time they do have watching videos.

Who’s at fault and what to do?

Parents are to blame for failing to inculcate in their children the habit of reading. The solution is to first acknowledge, as a society, that we have a video addiction problem. The second part of the solution is to wean ourselves from this poverty-creating video-watching habit and replace it with the prosperity-creating reading habit.

As a society, we don’t read anymore. We watch videos, instead. And you can’t learn anything meaningful from a video. Our new video-watching habit has replaced reading and in the process, learning. This is unfortunate because reading to learn leads to knowledge and increased knowledge leads to growth. Only by growing in knowledge is success possible. And video-watching doesn’t help you grow. Video-watching is a cancer to growth.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. While I agree, I do feel it is important to acknowledge youtube has hundreds-thousands maybe even millions of lectures, discussions, etc. with extremely intelligent persons to stimulate thought. Professors, business leaders, etc. all have videos online be it pure lectures or interviews sharing their knowledge and wisdom for those willing to study. For example, Dr. Robert Sapolsky from Stanford has about 25 hours of lectures in Human Behavioral Biology that I am hoping are as good as I want them to be whenever I am able to create the time to study through.

    Moving forward one can only wonder about the future value of face to face meetings with a single professor the location compensates for their time vs receiving an education online via online courses from the best of the best in their fields. With recent advances in technology interactive programs exist so individuals can interact via talk/text and who knows what opportunities virtual reality could present.

  2. Cenddie Alaban says:

    Hi Tom,

    You don’t mean. YouTube Rich habits Episodes are not educational, do you? I usually downloaded them and listen to then in my car going to work I don’t think I’m making a mistake doing that.

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