My best friend started me down this rabbit hole, and now I can’t stop. Why isn’t there an “Enter at own risk” sign on the YouTube homepage?

It began with a topic.The hobby of makeup and beauty products was knocking at our door, but we weren’t sure what we needed to buy to get off the ground. Thanks to YouTube, we got to watch someone else demo the experience before weput any money down! And this is how together we started binging on beauty vloggers, DIY crafters, and professional bakers. There has been more than one afternoon that I’ve sat in front of my computer screen with a pen and paper, taking notes for my next shopping trip to try something new (of course while also sending messages back and forth with you to hear your thoughts).

What I love most about the YouTube community is the constant positivity. No matter how these people’s days are going, no matter what some stupid viewer said in the comments section yesterday about their hair, quality YouTubers choose to share messages of kindness and goodness in everything they produce. And that is what I want to share with you today. I got into YouTube when I was down and out and going through a rather rough patch in my life. My best friend and I would watch our favorite YouTubers together, and it gave us just one more thing to giggle over and chat about. But more than anything, my favorite vloggers shared with me a daily uplifting, thought-provoking experience that kept my brain engaged and helped me bring focus back to my hectic life.

So where should you start in your YouTube vlogger experience? To answer that, I’ll have to take you through the journey of how I got started down this path this past summer.

It started with Zoella, a British beauty vlogger who harbors a love for all things Disney and enjoys spending time in the kitchen and taking her pug Nala for long walks around her hometown of Brighton, England. Her channel has given me some great beauty tips and some really great recipes for me to try in my future, but it is her honest, open battle with crippling anxiety, her open support of friends in time of need, and her love of what she does that keeps me watching. Zoe Sugg is a human, and she doesn’t try to hide that in her work.

From there, I moved on to Pointless Blog Vlogs. This one is a time commitment, but it can be so much fun. Alfie Deyes, the YouTuber behind this channel, is Zoella’s boyfriend, which is how I first discovered him. Because he has devoted himself to the act of daily vlogging, his videos function more as a life diary sometimes. Viewers travel with him all over the world on vacations, try new foods as he visits new restaurants and samples new candy, cheer for Alfie as he tries out new self-set challenges, and smile a little wider every day as he expresses his love for his and Zoe’s two-year-old dog Nala.

Maybe it’s because I’m an anglophile at heart, but from there I wandered into the world of Dan is Not on Fire and Amazing Phil. These two vloggers are roommates who live in London, and who have been together making videos since the days of MySpace. Each takes his own spin on turning everyday events into comedic sketches, from unabashed Tumblr addictions, to existential crises, to writing fanfiction about themselves. They also have a BBC radio show—who knew?

Jeffree Star can completely be blamed on my best friend. Known originally for his punk rock sound with artists like Hollywood Undead, he started his YouTube channel to show off his skills as a self-taught makeup artist and to feature his self-named beauty product line. You can’t help but adore him for his love of facial highlighters and his neon pink hair, but I think I love him most for the way his face lights up when he sees anything Louis Vuitton.

You might recognize at least one of the Vlog Brothers for their work outside of YouTube. John Green is known around the world for his young adult dramas like The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, but did you also know that he and his brother made YouTube videos together? Originating from a year-long dare to talk to each other only through online videos, these two Indiana natives have proudly developed a community for nerd fighters, crash course videos about classic literature and all things educational, and conversations about international current events. If you don’t want to feel like your brain is melting while you’re binging on YouTube, you’ll be in good hands with John and Hank Green.

And there we have it. To dive into the deep end of YouTube can be scary and overwhelming, but you constantly remind me of three important things through all of our viewing together:

  • First, YouTube is not going away, so starting in the shallow end is very okay.
  • Second, you are not alone through any of your viewing; that’s the blessing and the curse of the internet.
  • Third, you just might like what you find if you’re willing to give it a chance.

 

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