When was the last time you learned something new without the internet?

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A new research study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Vision Direct finds that people use ‘how-to’ videos to learn most things. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Americans now consult ‘How To’ videos to learn something new, with top life ‘hack’ search terms including how to play the guitar, edit photos and stain removal.

A study of 2,000 adults found 82 per cent prefer to use online tutorials to perfect a new skill, because they can revisit the instructions time and time again.

Most frequently used ‘how to’ videos include how to put in contact lenses, tone various body parts, get further on a computer game, and shave for the first time.

While others want to watch videos which tell you how to learn French, type, bake cookies, apply gel nails, and poach an egg.

Alex Smyrliadi, Content Manager for Vision Direct, which carried out the research said: “We all spend a lot of time online these days and our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Everyone welcomes human interaction, but it can be hard to learn something new when someone explains it just once.

“Video content can be replayed whenever, wherever, making the information a lot easier to digest. It’s almost second-nature to us as a format, as we’re all used to engaging with it through social media already. Plus, getting expert advice in person can be difficult or even impossible sometimes, so How-To videos make sharpening skills accessible to a lot more people.”

Other popular ‘How To’ videos include getting gum out of clothing, losing weight fast and packing a suitcase.

Those keen on learning DIY skills have watched videos to teach themselves how to put shelves up, wire a plug and fix the dishwasher or washing machine.

While adults who want to take control of their looks have used tutorials to learn how to apply make-up, mix up a face mask, and do a French plait.

Understandably, two thirds of US adults rely on technology first and foremost if they want to learn anything new, and more than half would rather turn to Google or YouTube for this than ask a person to help or train them.

Three quarters also class themselves as ‘visual learners’, finding it easier to remember instructions if they can see them expressed by someone else.

But once seeing someone do a demonstration, regardless of whether this is in person or on video, more than four in 10 adults would be too embarrassed to ask for any further help.

More than half of adults enjoy watching tutorials in the comfort of their own home, and three in 10 like the fact no-one can see them making mistakes.

Another 37 per cent like that videos are easier to digest than other methods of learning.

More than four in 10 adults will use ‘How To’ videos for help with the health or wellbeing, and a further 37 per cent will consult them for personal grooming.

In response to these survey findings, Vision Direct have launched a series of How To put in contact lenses videos, so those with a prescription can get additional online help when learning at home.

Smyrliadi added: “As with anything you learn yourself, just because you’re taught it in person doesn’t mean you immediately pick it up and can then do that task perfectly first time around. We know the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ stands true, and that to learn anything well, whether that’s putting in contact lenses, doing a bit of DIY or poaching an egg, you need to do that thing more than once. And not everyone learns in the same way, so it is important to acknowledge that a method that works for one person, may not work so well for another. That’s why we put together multiple ways to put in contact lenses with different users in mind — for example, those with long nails may need a different approach. Learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all process and there’s something for every different contact lens wearer in our How To video series.”


1. How to get stains out of clothing
2. How to make a face mask
3. How to workout properly/tone specific body parts
4. How to do things on computer games e.g. find rare stuff, beat people etc
5. Makeup tutorials
6. How to use software
7. How to bake a cake
8. How to photoshop a picture
9. How to bake cookies
10. How to set up broadband/Wi-Fi
11. How to lose weight fast
12. How to get past a hard bit of a videogame
13. Play guitar
14. How to curl hair
15. How to fix a washing machine
16. How best to pack a suitcase
17. How to reduce swelling
18. How to play songs on the guitar
19. How to French braid
20. How to fold a sheet
21. How to remove gum from clothing
22. How to train a puppy
23. How to draw
24. How to tie a tie / bowtie
25. How to floss / dance
26. Learning musical chords
27. How to make pancakes
28. The perfect way to poach an egg
29. How to build a planter
30. How to fix a dishwasher
31. How to treat a burn
32. How to make slime
33. How to fold a shirt
34. How to remove a tick
35. How to put shelves up
36. How to cut a man’s hair with clippers
37. How to knit
38. How to solve a Rubik’s cube
39. How to type
40. How to remove gel nails at home
41. How to change a flat bicycle tire
42. How to apply gel / shellac nails
43. How to speak French
44. How to put a picture up
45. How to build your own shed
46. How to make a pinata cake
47. How to get a baby to sleep
48. Soccer skills
49. How to shave for the first time
50. Wire a plug

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

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