March 2nd 2018
Talking about my invisible internet friends and how they’ve helped me with my personal self care~
I have been an avid YouTube viewer since I was about 13 years old. When I first discovered YouTube, I was in middle school and found it as a place to watch funny viral videos (as many people used the platform for at the time). My friends and I would spend hours huddled around a computer screen laughing and trying to quote every line of “Shoes” or “Charlie the Unicorn” or, one of my personal favorites, “Llamas with hats”. We would sing along to all of the ridiculous parody song, crack up at cheesy flash animations, and send each other jumpscare videos over instant messengers.
It wasn’t until late middle school and high school that YouTube and specifically YouTubers became a huge cornerstone in my life. I was rather bullied throughout a lot of my school career and found YouTubers to be these sort of invisible friends I could turn to for comfort. I decided to make this post for a Wellness Wednesday because I feel like YouTube is my personal form of self care and it is what I turn to when I feel alone or rather unstable. So in my post today, I would like to pay tribute to a few YouTubers who I have found over the past 10 years that have really shaped my YouTube viewing experience and myself as a person.
- Shane Dawson- If you have been watching YouTube within the past 10 years, Shane Dawson may be an incredibly familiar name. I would consider Shane to be one of the first real “influencers” on YouTube who really developed a community outside of his videos. He is one of the first channels I ever found and he was also what really brought my best friend and I together. He started out making skits with funny characters and a lot of shock humor, but has since evolved his content to feature tons of great series about himself and his personal life that really give you an idea of who he is as a person. One reason I continue to return to Shane’s content is that I love watching him grow as a person. I have been watching his content longer than I have been friends with most people in my life, so I feel oddly connected to him. If you have never heard of him, I entirely encourage you to go look him up and give his content a chance!
- Marzia- I have been watching Marzia since her first year on YouTube and she is probably one of my favorite YouTubers of all time. She is popularly known for being the girlfriend of the most subscribed YouTuber, Pewdiepie, but I personally found her and Pewdiepie (who I will be mentioning in this post) separately. I feel that Marzia and I had sort of grown up together in a sense since a lot of her personal breakthrough pertaining to her style as well as her battle with anxiety often paralleled my own personal experiences.
- Bratayley- Bratayley is a channel that I had come across quite a few time during YouTube binge sessions, but never actively followed until a couple of years ago during the rather sad period after their son, Caleb’s, passing. What drew me to the family channel was not their sadness, but their joy. I was drawn to their ability to use a horrible situation to push them to celebrate life and I really feel like that is what their channel is, a celebration of life both good and bad. The family consists of parents, Katie and Billy, and their two daughters, Annie and Hayley, as well as their son Caleb who you can still honor the memory of in earlier videos. The family daily vlogs their adventures as they rise in the media driven world with both daughters starring in online web series as well as dabbling in music! The content is super lighthearted and I love watching this family grow and explore new opportunities every day.
- Taylor R- I don’t quite remember how I found Taylor, but I am so happy I did. When I first found her content a couple of years ago, she was modeling in Japan and had this soft kawaii dolly style to her, which wasn’t really my vibe when it came to watching YouTube but something about her personality intrigued me. Since then, I have watched her grow and change into a more authentic version of herself, make hard decisions about her life, and become a truly unique content creator. It is weird to say I am so proud for a complete stranger, but like Shane Dawson, I feel like watching Taylor has almost made me feel like I have an invisible friend. I would totally recommend you check her out for vlogs and some really hilarious content ranging from remaking runway trends to hiring a best friend for a day.
- PewDiePie- Okay, so this is a rather controversial opinion because Pewds has made quite a few mistakes in recent years, but personally I stand by his content. He is another YouTuber that has really developed their content and become more authentic in my eyes and that is something I really respect. When I started watching him, it was as per my brother’s recommendation and I loved what I saw. Felix brought this humor to gaming that I had never seen before and although I used ot be embarrassed to say I liked watching gamers, I have no shame now and proudly watch tons of gamers and I attribute that to Felix.
- Game Theorists- Mat Pat and Stephanie and the rest of their team are so special to me for so many reason. One reason is because I really admire their content and their way of making learning cool through gaming and pop culture! I think that in a world filled with bonehead content creators spewing garbage, it is comforting seeing people who are bold enough to create content that is intellectual, clean, and fun. Another reason they are special to me is because of their live show GTLive that they have every weekday evening around 7:00PM EST. They will take time out of their day to sit down and play a game while interacting with their fanbase which I find to be beautiful and humble. No matter how big they get, they appreciate their fans and offer kindness and support whenever possible.
- Monica Church- Monica isn’t a really widely known YouTuber but she honestly deserves to be. Not only is she such a talented filmmaker and hard worker at just 23 years old (like myself), but she is also one of the realest YouTubers I’ve ever watched. She isn’t afraid to show the ugly side of being a YouTuber and she isn’t ashamed to be raw and real with her audience. I’ve never seen someone be so candid yet so genuine with their audience. Monica also encourages her audience to participate in charity activities and live a healthy lifestyle. Watching her makes me feel inspired to remain creative and work hard to get what I want.
- Rhett and Link- I work a job in the city twice a week and it isn’t exactly my favorite because I find it rather lonely, but Rhett and Link really help me feel less alone when I am commuting, walking through the city, and sitting at work. When I am on the train in the morning, I enjoy their Good Mythical Morning series which I have been a fan of for a couple of years now. I have also recently been binge-listening to their podcast Ear Biscuits on Spotify (it is also available on YouTube) which has helped me pass the time and feel less lonely. Rhett and Link invite you into their friendship and lives and give you the sense of friendship whenever you turn on one of their videos. They are truly amazing and creative content creator with a friendship that is truly “goals”
- Jacksfilms- I really actively started watching Jack a couple of years ago as per a suggestion from my friend Dan. Jack is an incredibly innovative content creator who doesn’t take himself too serious. He has series about the sucky grammar of the people of the internet, fan answered questions, as well as small sketches that are packed with humor. He deserves way more credit than he currently gets and I can’t wait to see how he grows his content.
- Gloom- Kassie is a YouTuber who deserves way more attention than she has received. She is a female gamer who has really turned the genre on its head and redefined gaming videos to me. Not only does she play games, but offers a humorous commentary including sketches and characters and hilarious editing. Her and her boyfriend, Terry, create content that is really unique for the gaming genre and I get excited every time I see her content come up on my news feed. I have even watched some of her videos more than once in a row because I was laughing too hard the first time to pay close attention to the game.
I also have a few honorable mentions that I want to recommend (because, as I said before, I am a very avid YouTube watcher):
B Jones Style
Buzzfeed (specifically buzzfeed unsolved)
Niki & Gabi
…and tons more I’m probably forgetting!
Who are some of your YouTube inspirations if you have any? Give me suggestions in the comments below!