Over the past several years, YouTube has become one of the biggest social media platforms. Lately, it seems that it will be getting even bigger. Many people who have started their careers through this video sharing company have gone to act in Hollywood movies or make big television appearances. However, with the growth of social media day by day, it seems that YouTube has already surpassed television with regard to its influence on the youth and technology in general.
“YouTube has definitely become a bigger platform than mainstream media such as television or movies, and I think the primary reason is because it is much more accessible. You can watch what you want wherever you want, whenever you want, rather than at a set time or in a theater,” Jaeyong Lee (11) says. “I think it is also great that YouTube has been able to open up many opportunities for people, especially the youth, to actually create a career for themselves in the creative field.”
It is now widely known that YouTube is the main medium people use to watch videos all around the world, whether they are watching “YouTubers” such as Pewdiepie or Liza Koshy, highlights of Tom Holland’s appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, or Ed Sheeran’s new music video. Over the past several years, the shift from television to YouTube has gradually become more pronounced, especially because of its improved accessibility. Through YouTube and other social media platforms, many people have also been able to grow their fanbases and following, especially to the younger demographic. However, there are many potential downsides to this development.
“I watch many YouTubers on a regular basis, and I have noticed that there are many new people that are coming onto the platform,” Lynette Kim (10) said. “However, watching the videos that some of these creators have been releasing, I have definitely noticed a shift in the popular content over the past several years.”
Recently, YouTubers such as Jake Paul and RiceGum have been getting a lot of attention, not because of the quality of their content and entertaining personalities, but because of the publicized feuds displayed on their channels as well as their other social media networks. “Diss tracks” and rants between different famous content creators have become somewhat of a trend on social media, especially on YouTube, and it is no surprise that Jake Paul, RiceGum, and other YouTubers have taken part in it. But is this an issue that we should worry about? Considering how explicit some of their content may be, these YouTubers’ audiences are much younger than one might expect, ranging from 10 to 18 years old. This also shows how much power and influence these creators wield.
“Regarding the ‘diss track’ trend recently, people first saw the trend as an entertaining way to poke fun within and at the YouTube community, but now it is only for the sake of the views and money,” said Sarah Cho (11), a regular YouTube viewer. “Many YouTubers have even admitted that most of the animosity between different creators is fabricated for the sake of the views, and it is certainly not a good example that these influencers are setting for their younger audience.”
Although it may seem like there are potential solutions to these problems regarding the young audience, such as flagging videos or comments, not many of them are applicable or effective enough. YouTube has had years of problems regarding censorship in both videos and comments. Additionally, any solutions given may be virtually impossible, being that so much content is being posted on the website daily. However, with many creators coming and going on this platform, we might also see a change in the YouTube community on its own in the near future.