Can YouTube change the world? More than one billion unique users log onto YouTube every month and some of the most popular YouTubers have viewing ratings most T.V shows would dream of. Think about it: these Youtubers are reaching more people than most politicians and newspapers. Millions of Young people idolise people like Alfie Days (PointlessBlogTV) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) and spend more time watching YouTube each week than talking to their own family.
The power YouTubers hold is potentially world changing. Tom Ridgewell (Tomska) said “I know YouTube can change the world. If all the big Youtubers got together they would be unstoppable” the potential YouTube has to change the world is enormous. YouTube gives people a platform to express their views about topical issues and have people listen to and actually believe what they say. Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire) says “The world is a big place. You may not change the whole world but you can change one person’s world but that’s just as big.”
But maybe it’s not the YouTubers with all the power. No YouTuber has set out with a goal to change the world and achieved it but that can’t all be because they aren’t trying hard enough. Maybe it’s us viewers who hold the power. We just want to watch a ‘British boy with a fringe.’ How many of us actually care about what he is saying though? Who cares about what’s under that ‘fringe?’
YouTubers can give up everything to be on YouTube -Careers, friends everything just to talk into a camera once in a while. However, maybe we viewers are worse. We’re the ones sitting there watching videos about people we don’t even know.
Most YouTube viewers would rather send gifts to their favourite YouTubers than their own family let alone someone somewhere out there in the world that actually needs it. ‘Syrian food crisis? Yeah, well we’ll send food to PointlessBlogTV instead, he needs it.’ People become YouTubers with the hope they could change something. Something, anything, maybe? But instead they get people who would prefer to ‘ship’ them with Zoella than care about what they actually have to say.
Nevertheless, equally we can’t take all the blame, some of the Youtubers aren’t that much better. ‘Save the world,’ ‘Make a difference.’ Most of them would rather eat cinnamon out of a bucket or earn money to promote some cereal. God, if he exists, created the world in six days. Most YouTubers spend six days a week playing ‘Animal Crossing’ and on the seventh day cobble together a half-hearted ‘Sorry I haven’t made a video in a while.’ Slacktivism as its finest.
So, can YouTube change the world? Honestly, according to me: no. A selfless heart and the will to be different and help others is the only thing that can change the world. Not someone talking to a camera once a week or you sitting in bed watching them. So next time you watch YouTube videos, think. Listen to what they say and be the change you want to see in the world.
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Mr Emlyn Lumley
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