Talk the talk

Try not to get entranced by the charm of TEDx Talks.


Photo by Joey O'Kelly

Paige Twenter

I can’t remember the first TEDx Talk I ever watched but I can easily describe watching one. While you’re mindlessly scrolling through YouTube, hoping for something to catch your attention, you randomly click on a TEDx Talk you’ve wanted to see for a while. After listening to the first two minutes, you’re incapable of stopping, with your full attention on the speaker for a whole 15 minutes (that long of an attention span for many is unimaginable). Luckily, there’s probably a TEDx Talk for your attention span.

After watching one, there’s another one recommended for you, thus beginning your two-hour-long binge on a mix of the most heartbreaking, inspirational and educational videos.

A few of my all-time favorites include “What Teenagers Want You to Know” and “Girl Up: The Secrets to an Extraordinary Life,” which I recommend for everyone to watch. I’d like to say I’ve seen my fair share of the life-changing lectures on YouTube, ranging from different personality styles to handwriting analysis. Looking at all of these, there seems to be little correlation between them.

What’s the one thing connecting all of these videos together? Trying (and failing) to be perfect.

This mainly goes toward the inspirational archetype of TEDx Talks but can be applied to the other subcategories. The reason TEDx Talks are so popular (many gaining millions of views) is because they offer a newfound, all- powerful motivation to their viewers, myself included.

Reality-speaking, how many TEDxTalks have changed my life for the long run? Zero. I may be obsessed with one
for a while and send it to everyone on my contacts list, screaming in all caps YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS but eventually, the lessons fade away.

It’s totally OK to watch TEDx Talks and enjoy them, but don’t fall into the impossible idea of perfection they advertise to you. Be content with watching them and learning how to better yourself without feeling the need to completely uproot your life because of a 15-minute video. Live your best life, not somebody else’s idea of one.