As Fantine sings her haunting song “I Dreamed a Dream” we begin to be gripped by the power of her ache in our own souls. We are drawn into the hearts of the characters by the film’s focus on the faces and the emotions of the characters. We’re moved to tears. We celebrate their successes and share their devastation with their losses. The gripping power of the three time Academy Award winning movie Les Miserables moved us young and old.  Video reaches past the barriers of intellect and touches our hearts.

It affects us down to even a neurological level, in what’s called our mirror neurons. We are wired to feel as we see others emote, as if we were doing the feeling ourselves. We were created to empathize. We find ourselves sympathizing with someone we’ve never met, responding to a situation we’ve never been in, even considering ideas we’ve never accepted before. Even a still photo of someone smiling can bring a smile to our face. We physically can’t help but respond. Video taps into this human trait like nothing before it. According to the book Influencer: the power to change anything, vicarious experience—the most powerful being video—is the most effective form of influence. ‘Seeing is believing’ has taken on a whole new meaning.

Now with the ubiquity of video, we cannot afford to ignore its power. Over 133 million hours are watched on YouTube every day. Video has rocked our world from big screen to ipod, removing the barrier of black type and instead bringing us face to face. It’s the single most powerful experience beyond reality, capturing our hearts and attention like nothing else. YouTube has risen to the second most used search engine, second only to Google, because we have this growing desire to experience. A stale white page doesn’t cut it anymore, not when we can see it, hear it, feel it out. Video has burst open new waters of reach and impact. We can now influence, reach past barriers, capture attention, and mold interests like never before. Video has caught the human eye like the pen never could.

Watch this video to get an idea of the enormity of online video. Get out and watch Les Miserables to feel the enormity of human connection through the medium of video.

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