I've been listening, studying, considering a lot of videos recently as I work on a major renovation of my church communication YouTube Channel. I've focused on two areas for my unscientific, random research:
1. Some of the most popular videos as identified by the USA TODAY listing. This list in itself is a significant cultural shift point here and one churches need to note--USA TODAY now fills about a third of the day's television schedule with what it considers important website videos.
2. Specifically educational videos, everything from Ted Talks and Khan Academy to home-schooling English lessons and Bible teaching online.
Aside from the obvious differences in content, one thing that has struck me forcefully is the tone, the voice of various videos.
Many of the videos in "most popular" category on YouTube are of people speaking loudly, often outrageously and profanely. I'm not a fan and not familiar with these current small screen sensations, but the same voice of snarky superiority seems to characterize many of them. Another characteristic voice of many is outrageous and angry, while self-assured of their right to be outrageous and angry. If a smirk can be translated into a voice, this is a base note of many.
After a short exposure to some of them, it was obvious who was listening to who, who was a follower, a disciple of this tone of voice. The current celebrity source is easy to identify; the spiritual source a little more challenging, but it is clear who it is not from. It is clearly not from Jesus.
The contrasting voice of Jesus
What does Jesus voice sound like? Though the entire Bible is literally his Word, his voice to us, the following passage from John 10 is instructive. I've italicized the passages pertaining to Jesus voice--consider them as you read: