Recently, as I was searching for interesting YouTube videos to watch (i.e., cats being cats), I came across something called Virtual Photo Walks. Being the curious type of person that I am, I clicked on it, getting the gist of what to expect thanks in part to the title of the videos. However, once you visit the website, it seems like much more than that.
On their official website, Virtual Photo Walks, their tagline reads “Walk the walk for those that can’t. “ Even more intrigued, I decided to click on the “About” tab. I discovered that the project was created to help people be interactive again. VPW was considered a service for those “who are hospitalized or cannot go out into the community” but also for “the many who just need a break in their day.” The last sentence instantly caught my eye. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice break in the middle of the day? But most importantly, who doesn’t enjoy a nice break that doesn’t involve having to go outside in the rain, snow or even the cold weather? So I decided to slide my chair in, open my eyes, click on a link and let other people take me on an exciting journey.
I must warn you though: If you would actually like to participate in one of these walks, meaning that you want to watch it along with the person actually doing it, then you must have a Google account, because the walks are broadcasted on Google+. You can watch by using the Google+ Hangout feature. If you’re not a fan of Google+, like I am, then you can view the videos on Youtube.
Now back to the journey. I decided to take a walk in New York City because New York City is the kind of place where I want to take lunch break walks in. A photographer named Trey Ratcliff leads the walk, making me even more excited because I had reviewed his work earlier for fun and it amazed me. How could this lunch break get any better?
Well for starter’s, YouTube could try harder to make the videos clearer. If you’re viewing it on Google+ Hangouts, then it is a bit better, but not amazing. Personally, it kind of distracted me from fully enjoying the videos because you didn’t feel like you were completely there. It made you notice that you weren’t actually viewing the same thing as everyone else, because they were actually there and you weren’t.
However, even with that pretty big annoyance, Virtual Photo Walks still makes me smile. Why? Because you can see the happiness in the person’s eyes, whether they are taking you on a walk in the Amazon Jungle or showing you constellations in the dark Sunday sky. You can see how excited they are to show you such interesting places. Even better, the people who are also involved in the Hangout show the same excitement. They show the same joy and they are not even there with the actual person.
And if that isn’t one reason to watch, then I don’t know another one.