Why We Love How-to Videos

Instructional videos can teach us anything — especially if you watch them this way

By Tom Vanderbilt

A n insistent pattern has quietly taken hold in my household. I will order some consumer product online. The product will arrive. I will open the package, extract the thing from its protective wrappings, and retrieve the instruction manual. I will examine the product briefly, then begin to read the instruction manual. And then I will go to YouTube.