“Get good at wallpaper. Get good at knitting. Get good at maths”. Who wouldn't be tempted with offers like that? (Apart from accomplished painter decorators who knit their own socks and do quadratic equations backwards in the dark). How to do these things – and millions of others – is what videojug.com offers the visitors to its site. Set up in 2006, it creates how-to films that teach pretty much everything under the sun.
I've lost quite a few hours of late – although hopefully gained some skills in the trade off – watching video tutorials for all sorts of things. But while videojug's fare is created professionally by the site, what I really love is the content uploaded by enthusiastic experts/amateurs sharing what they know. Although I've yet to grasp the basics of doing a French plait despite watching at least seven different silky-haired girls showing how to do it from web-cammed dressing tables on both sides of the Atlantic, I've mastered putting my hair up in a spectacular bun with the aid of a tube made out of a sock (check it out, ladies: (hellogiggles.com/diy-sock-bun).
My obsession started when an i contributor pointed me in the direction of an 18-minute long towel-folding tutorial on a wonderful site called soothetube.com (watch it here: goo.gl/qT0h7). Strangely relaxing AND informative. It seems I'm a bit late to the party, though, as almost everyone I know seems to be clicking play on advice that covers everything from cooking to dating. My right-hand-man at work learned his wedding dance by watching an online lesson and also how to replace one of the inner tubes of his bike (this was two different videos, mind, not a weirdly specific mash-up), while another colleague swears by videos to work out how to fix his bike (his most recent lessons were on which way to unscrew bike pedals and how to clean a chain).
The screen of a friend's old iPod had gone black after being dropped one too many times. To the internet! A quick search later and she saw what she needed to do. Chuck the 'Pod on the floor. Sounds utterly insane but it worked. Most recently a how-to film has saved me from myself. Idly wondering whether putting a couple of Berocca effervescent vitamin tablets in my mouth would liven up an afternoon in the office (there was a bet involved), I found a video showing a chap doing just that, with a Tango chaser. Reader, the results weren't pretty, although they were fizzy. And very, very orange. I think I'll stick to towel and hair-style tricks, even if my video browsing does make me seem like a bit of a virtual Stepford Wife.