Why Youtubers aren’t the worst teen role models ever


Feeling part of a crowd is hardwired in a teenager’s DNA. We like to feel as if we belong to something and it gives us confidence. Navigating through the ups and downs of teenage life is difficult enough without adding lonely and bored to the list… This is why we like to hang out,  go to parties and stamp our imprint onto social media through  “selfies”. When we are not measuring our self-worth through the amount of likes we get or the cliques we are in, we are incredibly grouchy. Nobody wants to be alone in a room with a grouch teenager, believe me. So it’s no surprise we’re all over YouTube like a rash…

Now, YouTube is hardly new… it’s been around since 2005 and even hit its 10 year anniversary just last week… but what I’m really here to talk about is Youtubers. The people that make a living through posting videos of themselves talking about life, love, happiness, self-esteem and all-round fun stuff. They have millions of subscribers, are our generation’s role models and, may I add, are blooming rich. Forget Justin Bieber and One Direction, Youtubers are the new it people. I don’t have a single friend who doesn’t religiously wait for their uploads every week, boys and girls alike. We argue about which one is our favourite (personally I’m gripped by Tanya Burr’s daily vlogs) and it seems to bring us all together.

Now that we’ve found these brilliant people online, I feel as though there’s no longer space nor time for us to comment and backbite about social media profile pictures and who is going out with who because we are busy. It may not even be a good busy (people will say it’s unproductive) but it is, without a doubt, something that’s currently making our generation happy.

Youtubers are generous and welcoming. They share the (best) minutes of their day.

These Youtubers make us happy because we can relate to them but we can also look up to them. Most of them are aged in the 17- 25 age group, with a few being a little younger or older. They talk about past experiences and likes and dislikes whilst showing us a glimpse into their lives through daily vlogs. A vlog? Oh yes, that’s basically when a person walks around with a video recorder all day and videos the highlights every day for up to a month; it’s almost as though they are conversing with the viewer. We know about their parents, their spouses and their friends and this makes us feel close to them. They freely give an insight into their lives which I, amongst other teenagers, find remarkably impressive because they are talking so honestly to people they do not know.

It’s reassuring to see another teenager be that honest and comfortable with themselves in public. In this sense, they’re role models.

Many teenagers feel it difficult to openly talk about the troubles they’re having for fear of being judged by friends and sometimes family. In seeing Youtubers who we feel very much connected to emotionally talking about the struggles they are having, we feel more comfortable in speaking out about our own issues.

I know that adults don’t really understand the point of Youtubers, but Youtubers aren’t what adults think they are.They aren’t making money out of vulnerable teens, they are helping us become more sensible, fair and considerate members of society.

Anyway, who would you like us to look up to? A happy, easy going Youtuber or… someone you really wouldn’t like?  Easy answer, right? So go on, go and watch a YouTuber in action. You never know, maybe the positive attitude and sunny disposition of vloggers like Zoella or Tanya Burr will have you smiling from ear to ear.

If you like Youtubers – or you enjoyed this article – please check out more of what I do at my blog, Bookmist!