SIS students explore world of vlogging

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Erin Choi, Copy Editor

On an average day at SIS, you may often find yourself walking past a group of students filming and talking in front of a camera. It is also likely that you find a few familiar faces in the thumbnails of videos on Youtube titled along the lines of “A day in the life of an international student” or “Asking international students questions.” This is no coincidence: an increasing number of students have started creating and sharing content.

Two popular channels include one run by Michelle Kim, a junior at KIS, with 39.8 thousand subscribers, and one run by Sheena Kim, a junior from SFS, with 100 thousand subscribers. Both channels amassed large followings as 2021 came to an end, turning vlogging into a prevalent trend amongst international school students. Unsurprisingly, many SIS students are also taking part in this new trend.

“I started a channel with my friends because we saw how it was becoming a rising trend and we wanted to find a way to make memories,” Erin Choi (12), a senior who started a Youtube channel with her friends, said. “I think that because being youtubers make their job appear so desirable and cool, many students including myself have always wanted to similarly film content. On top of that, with COVID-19 restricting many activities students can do, vlogging is a fun hobby anyone can easily pick up.”

A group of seniors at SIS have recently started a group channel that goes by the name of ‘sissies.’ With 113 subscribers at the moment, the channel is gaining views and subscribers each day. The channel ‘sissies’ is unique in the sense that its vlogs feature students varying from grade levels. Members of the channel vlog their day at school, short question and answer videos, and challenges with other students. 

There are also a number of students who frequently vlog at school but choose not to share their videos online. Most students have reported that their purpose of vlogging was not about the potential views or attention that they would receive, but rather the idea that they could document memorable moments with their friends at school.

“I think that vlogging is a cool way for young people to connect both within and across schools,” Carly Santos, school counselor, said. “Even if vlogs are not shared online, I think that this vlogging trend is good for students’ confidence. People who may not be used to socializing in person can use vlogging to reach out to new people and socialize in a different way. Students can also learn to overcome being camera shy.”

The upside of students vlogging is that it does not require professional filming or editing skills. Student vlogs are also diverse in content and formats, making it an easy and accessible source of entertainment. 

“The content I vlog is nowhere near professional,” Celine Yang (9), a freshman who started vlogging at the start of second semester, said. “I always had random snippets of vlogs on my phone, so I decided to compile them into a video and start a Youtube channel. Because the purpose of me vlogging is to store memories and share them with my friends, I made my channel private so that the public cannot view it.” 

With COVID-19 limiting opportunities for students from different grade levels to interact, it is through vlogs filmed by channels like ‘sissies’ that contribute to a tight-knit community. Members of ‘sissies’ report that they have been able to develop bonds with many underclassmen as a result of vlogging—something they were not able to easily accomplish during the year.

“I think that students vlogging is a great way to make memories with each other,” Celine Yang said. “The videos I have with my friends can be left as a memory and can be looked at in the future to recall the fun times we had.”