Those of us of a certain age may well remember a regular segment that David Letterman used to have on his late-night show back in the day. It involved tossing various things off a five-story building. Stuff like watermelons. Flourescent light bulbs. TVs. (Pretty sure the environmental laws were a bit more lax in the ’80s and early ’90s.) My inner neanderthal loved watching him destroy stuff (often in slow motion, too … bonus!).
I don’t think Taras Maksimuk, who goes by the YouTube moniker TechRax, is old enough to have watched Letterman’s destructive antics. But the impulse? It’s exactly the same. His description of the channel is short and accurate: “Smashing technology since 2011. Oh yeah, I am also Ukrainian.” The other tagline on the site: “Your #1 Destiantion for Technological Mayhem.”
TechRax proves that I’m not the only person out there with an inner caveman who likes to see things beaten, battered, dropped, blown up and otherwise abused. More often that not, it’s some poor iPhone getting severely “stress tested.” Like, say, tossing one into a plexiglass box full of firecrackers and setting them off. (The phone got hot, but still worked.) Or dropping one 1,600 feet deep in a lake. Or dropping one down a 300-foot stairwell. Or Tasering one. Or freezing one in a block of ice (which, ironically, causes it to charge faster).
The upside here, in an admittedly not to profound way, is that TechRax’s videos cater to a mildly perverse kind of curiosity: I wonder if it’ll survive that! Each video has a built-in kind of drama that revolves around that question.
Of course, there’s nothing here that’s genuinely redemptive—unless you really hate iPhones, which might quickly make this your go-to channel for technological catharsis.
My concerns here stem from someone who blew up a lot of stuff in my youth with my best friend. We never seriously injured ourselves, but we could have. And I wonder about the possibility of someone trying to replicate some of TechRax’s more destructive tech stress tests.
It should also be noted that this guy has racked up almost 2 billion views. What that means is this: He’s got the income to destroy as many iPhones as he wants. The rest of us? Well, if a young fan of the channel imitates very much here, it could get pretty expensive, pretty fast.
The fact that a whopping 2 billion people have viewed these videos proves that I’m not the only one who enjoys seeing stuff destroyed.
As media habits go, this one seems relatively benign (save for the inherent waste in it). Still, adventurous viewers could seek to replicate what they’ve seen, which could potentially prove harmful to both bodies and bank balances if things go too far awry too frequently.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.