Lately I’ve found myself spending less and less time in front of the TV in my living room, and more time curled up on my bed watching YouTube videos on my iPad. A few nights ago, I was shocked to find that I didn’t want to watch TV, and that I was instead looking forward to watching my favorite YouTube channels.
Thinking this over, I came up with five reasons why I am finding YouTube more appealing at the moment than TV:
One of the most important topics for me is diversity. While TV has made some strides (especially on “Internet TV” like Netflix and Amazon Instant), it’s still moving too slowly for me to maintain my full interest. On YouTube, however, there’s a variety of ethnicities, genders, orientations, and religions represented.
If you want a diverse array of entertainers and educators, there’s no better place than YouTube. Try watching Laci Green’s sex education talks, Hannah Hart’s cooking videos, Kingsley’s pop culture commentary, Yoga with Adrienne, or Lily Singh (“Superwoman”) as she pokes fun at just about everything and everyone.
Depending on what you’re interested in, you can customize your YouTube experience and watch anything from gaming channels (DanandPhilGames and Markiplier are my favorites) to makeup and beauty tutorials (Michelle Phan, Gigi Gorgeous), to baking and cooking recipes (Hannah Hart is wonderful and oh-so-punny, and her friend Mamrie Hart will teach you how to make drinks on her channel!) to comedy (Olan Rogers, Crabstickz, Thomas Sanders, Jenna Marbles, and Miranda Sings come to mind).
Creating a playlist or setting up subscriptions to favorite channels makes it so easy to flip from one to the next to see what’s new, and even if you have to watch commercials, they’re really short — or you can skip them after just a few seconds. Creating a YouTube account is free, and you never have to pay for anything. You can buy merchandise from individual YouTubers, but you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee like HuluPlus, Amazon Instant, or Netflix. YouTube is also available in most countries, with no lag time for new content.
I’ve also found that I have more personal connections to the people I watch, even though I’m watching them on a screen and haven’t been to their shows to see them in person. Something about sitting face to face with one person and listening to them talk draws us closer. I appreciate that a lot of YouTubers have a special sign off, like Hannah Hart’s “have a great day” and Tyler Oakley’s “I love you, have a good life”. It actually helps a bad day seem a little brighter.
Lastly, watching YouTube is inspiring. Many of the people I follow now go on tours (Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig tour together) have their own businesses (Olan Rogers has a Soda Parlor and sells an apparel line that has the added bonus of a set part of the price being donated to charity), and even book deals (Marcus Butler, Alfie Deyes, Tyler Oakley, Dan Howell and Phil Lester, Miranda Sings, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, etc.).
While it’s true that many YouTubers don’t become famous or make a lot of money, it’s more apparent on YouTube than any other visual media that creative people who work hard and share their passion are able to reach out to a large audience and change the way we see the world.
I’ve tried everything from exercise to recipes to telling jokes, all thanks to YouTube, and even if I’m not a YouTuber myself, I feel like I’ve learned something and enriched my experience by watching these wonderful people.
Who are your favorite YouTubers? How has watching YouTube videos made your life better?Image Credits: Shutterstock