It seems like we have heard a succinct term for this before, but we're having trouble putting our finger on it. The idea is that due to being able to see so many incredible things on sites like YouTube, everything that one might encounter in "real life" (i.e., not on sites like YouTube) becomes less impressive.

In other words, when you can quickly and immediately see the best juggler, the best kid drummer, the best skateboarder, the best cappuccino-foam artist, etc., one could quickly become unimpressed by people who are merely "good" at something. "Oh, you're only the 17-th best plate-spinner in the nation? Yawn."

What's the "word" for that? It seems like we heard a clever or succinct word or phrase describing that, but we're drawing a blank.

  • Yeah. It's called stultification of the masses.
    – Ricky
    Nov 26 '15 at 3:07
  • 3
    +1, but -- who's "we"? Was this question written by a team? :-)
    – ruakh
    Nov 26 '15 at 3:23
  • "Apathetic" may be another possible term
    – Toby
    Nov 26 '15 at 13:07
  • There are many terms for boredom from overexposure to something— jaded, surfeited. blasé. But it's not clear to me whether this is the sentiment you want to express, or whether it is about being ruined or spoiled by the availability of or exposure to something, like overindulged children.
    – choster
    Nov 26 '15 at 19:42

Consider spoil:

to give (someone, such as a child) everything that he or she wants

You could say that YouTube has spoiled us with only the best plate spinners, leaving us unable to appreciate anything else.

Two other, more technical words sprang to mind, though both are pretty similar to OP's desensitized...

  1. In psychology, habituation describes someone's diminishing response to a repeated stimulus. You might say that through YouTube, we've habituated to these spectacles.

  2. Overexposure might also serve. Originally, it describes photographic film that receives too much light and loses sensitivity to detail. But it's often used metaphorically to describe the dulling effect of, say, watching a lot of violent TV.


Anesthetise is used to refer to a state of insensitivity due to excessive exposure to something:

  • Deprive of feeling or awareness:
    • tragedy of a magnitude that anesthetizes the mind


  • To render insensible, as by an anesthetic.

The Free Dictionary




: to cause (someone or something) to react less to or be less affected by something : to cause (someone or something) to be less sensitive

: to make emotionally insensitive or unresponsive, as by long exposure or repeated shocks: "This movie in effect may resensitize people who thought they were desensitized to violence" (Steven Spielberg). American Heritage® Dictionary

There are many studies showing that overexposure to violence desensitizes people over time.


: to make or become numb American Heritage® Dictionary

: (adj.) emotionally unresponsive; indifferent


: to make (something, such as a feeling) less sharp, strong, or severe M-W


: to diminish the sensitivity or perception of; make dull Collins English Dictionary


"blasé": apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment. (According to Merriam-Webster). Perhaps that will do.


Consider, Stupefy : to put into a state of little or no sensibility.

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