students discuss YouTube’s influence on today’s teenager culture

Sadie Putnam, Social Media Editor

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Hey what’s up you guys, let’s jump right into it. According to a study by Business insider, teenagers watch more than double the amount of YouTube than live television and the majority of teens don’t believe there is a need for live television at all. While Google defines YouTube as a “video-sharing website,” students and teens utilise it for primarily entertainment purposes. Senior Katie Zimmerman said she watches YouTube frequently and has a weekly routine.

“I watch YouTube almost every day,” Zimmerman said. “Definitely Monday, Wednesday and Friday because I watch every single one of  David Dobrik’s vlogs and then whenever there is a big thing like a Shane Dawson movie.”

According to the Washington Post, teenagers are drawn to YouTube stars more than other celebrities because they come across as real and relatable. Zimmerman said she prefers watching vlogs for similar reasons.

“I just really enjoy watching [Dobrik],” Zimmerman said. “His friends have so much fun — they’re living my dream life and I want to be friends with them.”

On the other hand, junior Brody Dorris said he doesn’t have a routine but enjoys the wide variety of content YouTube offers.

“I just scroll through and find whatever is interesting to me and watch that,” Dorris said.

Junior Sophie Oatman said she appreciates the range and convenience of YouTube over other platforms.

“If I just really like don’t know what to watch on Netflix, I’ll go to YouTube and just look up my recommended,” Oatman said.

Not only is the content relatable and easily accessible, Zimmerman said YouTube builds instant connections with other people.

“If you see someone wearing [merchandise] from someone that you like you can say something to them and you instantly have something in common,” Zimmerman said.

Those who watch YouTube can relate to others who subscribe to the same creators. Oatman said inside jokes and bonds are created with people who watch similar channels on YouTube.

“So much slang catches on and inside jokes like the ‘fair enuf’ Cody Ko joke,” Oatman said. “I know a lot of people think that’s funny, so the inside jokes that are created create a bond.”

According to Business Statistics, 85 percent of US teenagers watch YouTube. As one of the most used social media platforms for high school students, Oatman said she thinks it has had an impact on her generation.

“I don’t think [my parents] really get it, they’re always like, ‘Why are you filming yourself?’” Oatman said. “Our generation is obsessed with showing what we’re doing no matter what it is.”

Some students have made their own YouTube channels or have began vlogging their day-to-day lives. Zimmerman said she appreciates the trends that YouTube has kickstarted and she said it’s a different way for people to express themselves.

“It’s impacted a lot of students’ lives substantially and [they’ve] started to make their own vlogs,” Zimmerman said. “Whether it be a day in the life of a high school student or a spring break trip vlog, people are just catching on the trend and doing it themselves. I think it’s really cool because it’s another way to express who you are through a different type of media.”

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