There I was in my cozy loft back in my childhood home; I received my first iPod touch in the fifth grade — too young, I know. I thought I had the world at my fingertips, and when you’re at that age, you have no idea about the content that roamed around the internet at that time.
The first YouTube video I watched was Ryan Higa’s “How to be Ninja.” With the maturity level of a carrot, this was peak comedy. And from there I was introduced to the world of YouTubers and what it meant to have a social presence. I believe that YouTube was an essential part of my life growing up — from how to apply winged eyeliner to Jenn Im vlogs, I was hooked. At this time my only form of entertainment was playing “Bloxorz” on coolmathgames.com, so it was exciting to enter this new world of content.
With how fast social media has evolved, I began to wonder. Is YouTube even relevant anymore? Sure I’ll pull up Lofi girl if I need to study or watch a couple of Mina Le videos here and there, but I find that I never have the urge to jump onto YouTube and watch individuals overshare on the internet anymore. If you were anything like me, it was simply a little escape to indulge in other people’s interests and hobbies, but I don’t remember the last time I had a YouTube hyperfixation.
In 2019, I arguably made the best or worst decision of my life by downloading TikTok. During peak pandemic attempting to learn the infamous “Renegade” dance just like everybody else, I found my newest hyperfixation.
Eventually, over time it gave me brain rot and I tried — emphasis on tried — to stay off that app as much as possible. But sometimes after working for three hours straight, you just want a way to wind down the day for a couple of minutes … or a couple of hours.
With the rise of new-age influencer lifestyles, I started to realize, this is the new YouTube. TikTok is a platform that people of all ages have on their phones and has easily digestible content. It’s easy to just mindlessly scroll on your For You Page and come across what the newest trends are. Similar to YouTube, there is a plethora of niche content for essentially anyone to watch, but more compactly and quickly to get your quick fix of entertainment for the day.
Now I’m not talking about how it serves as a platform for music videos, how-to videos, or daily Jubilee videos, I’m interested in how it has affected the lives of people who dedicated years to posting weekly videos. With large YouTube names such as Tyler Oakley and Jenna Marbles, their rise to fame was quick, but their downfall was quicker. Of course, YouTubers have gotten older and have realized this was essentially just a phase in their life, but sometimes I still see old school YouTubers trying to stay relevant on TikTok and I think their time has simply passed. YouTubers have gathered large fan bases surrounding them and with the infamous Vidcon, they don’t hold as much weight or excitement as they used to. I believe that many people are still nostalgic of this era, but don’t pay any mind to the current content that is being released or having the means of over exaggerating the creator’s digital footprint.
With my love-hate relationship with that damn clock app, I hate to admit that YouTube doesn’t provide the same fulfillment that TikTok does. Youtube is still a very useful app if I want to learn how to make roasted garlic, but why would I do that when I can simply look up “roasted garlic” in the TikTok search bar and see someone made a 10-second video on it?
The sad reality is that YouTube just does not have the same effect that these new-age platforms have. These Youtubers will, of course, always stay near and dear to my heart, but it’s somewhat refreshing to see new forms of entertainment being brought to our fingertips.
If you’ve gotten to this point of the article, I suggest you go ahead and turn on Miss Lofi girl and continue studying for that Business final you have in two weeks. Thanks for reading!
Photo by Azamat E on Unsplash