retroity

Unus Annus, Cultural Events, Time, and FOMO

The YouTube channel Unus Annus ended today. The premise of the channel, which was run by Mark (Markiplier) and Ethan (CrankGameplays) was that it would upload every day, but that 1 year after the channel's creation, everything would be deleted. The channel ended with an 8 hour livestream.

I subscribed to Unus Annus at the beginning of the channel's life. I think I was a day 1 subscriber. I was intrigued by the concept. A channel that only lasts a year? Obviously it went against a lot that I believed in as a preservationist (I mean, I've started several projects around the idea of archiving things) but it seemed interesting.

Over time, a year passed, and Unus Annus was at it's end. I missed everything. At least I got to be there for a good part of the ending livestream, but that was cold comfort for me. I had an entire year to experience this, but yet I missed almost all of it, for one reason for another. For a good chunk of the year I forgot about the channel, but even when it was on my mind I still didn't bother with it, and now it's simply too late. Forever is forever. I feel super guilty about it.

A year is a long time. The deadline to watch it or to watch the videos on the channel was a year, and yet I missed pretty much all of it. I had this pit in my stomach as the channel was ending and it all set in, and that only got worse after the channel ended.

I know I really shouldn't feel this strongly about a YouTube channel, but the reason why I feel the way that I do is because I strongly value mass experiences and cultural events. I value experiences that huge swathes of people experience together. It's because of this that I also have a pretty strong fear of missing out in cases like these. I ´╗┐want´╗┐ to be a part of things like these. To say that I was there looking back. When I'm not there, when I've "missed out" so to speak, I almost always have this strong sense of guilt and regret. So to know that I had a chance to watch and be there and I just didn't kinda hurts.

I suppose I have made a good use of the 365 days since the channel was created though, so it's not like I've wasted that time. The past 365 days have been incredibly transformative for me. I've created some pretty cool things, I've made some new friends, I've started working with some incredibly cool people, I've graduated high school and started college, I've found out quite a bit about myself, and quite a bit more. I'm definitely proud of myself and what I've done in those 365 days.

I suppose that's part of the channel's message isn't it? That life is fleeting, death is inevitable, you only have a limited amount of time on this earth, and that you should make every second count. I know I've spent barely any of that time watching the very channel that stressed that concept and that has made me more conscious of time and how limited it is, but hey, at least I've still mostly made good use of my time. Even despite this though, my feelings of guilt and regret still persist. Hopefully though, like Unus Annus itself, these feelings will fade away with time.

Memento Mori.