I was one of those kids in school who couldn’t wait for the classes where the teacher was going to show a documentary because that meant at least 20 minutes of extra snooze time. I remember my dad begging me to sit down and watch various documentaries with him on PBS, and I would comply, for a little while, until I suddenly “remembered” I had homework to do.
Documentaries just weren’t my thing. Don’t get me wrong – – I enjoyed learning – – but for some reason I associated documentaries with the geriatric Geratol generation, and couldn’t overcome my bias for many, many years.
Then when my kids came along, they grew up with cable, which is basically just one long stream of mini-documentaries – – especially on the channels my boys enjoyed most like Animal Planet, Discovery, National Geographic, and the Science Channel. I was amazed that they were actually choosing to sit through programs about the National Forest system, the life of humpback whales, and the newest research on renewable energy. Even more amazing was finding myself sitting right there beside them – – happily enraptured.
This change in my viewing habits had a profound influence on me, actually. I find that my thinking about issues is much more analytical now. I love looking at things from both sides, weighing the arguments for each, and creating an opinion (or not) based on these observations.
I also find that now, when I want to learn about something new, in addition to Googling it, and poring over my book options, I also check to see if there is a documentary about it. Quite a switch.
But I have a new tool in my arsenal now, that I had to share with you. Snagfilms is an online library of documentaries that not only lets you watch full-length documentaries for free, but also lets you embed them on your website or blog. And as an extra bonus, they offer a charitable link related to each documentary so that if you feel inspired by what you see, you can support the cause behind it.
So if you “do” documentaries, like I do, check out Snagfilms and give them some love – – well, unless you have homework to do, of course.