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Lessons learned from YouTube

Marisa Barranco

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Sawing a celebrity face from a tree? Check.

Turning yourself into a zombie? Check.

Game of Thrones conspiracy theories? Check, check, and check.

Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has had something to offer to all audiences: good, bad and just plain strange. With its user-friendly interface and broad spectrum of content – both to create and digest – YouTube has spurred a video-making revolution of a lifetime, transforming average Joes and Janes into Final Cut Pro experts and social media sensations.

Reflecting on what there is to learn from YouTube and its effect on users could take years, so, in the meantime, here are three surefire life lessons that audiences can take away from YouTube today:

1: Dogs Are Adorable

Type in your YouTube search bar ‘cute dogs’. The top results are mainly compilation videos, but to truly understand this lesson is to watch YouTuber Jenna Mourey, otherwise known as JennaMarbles. Watching her zany and original videos of her simply having fun with her furry friends will definitely give you a laughing fit, but even watching one will illustrate a picture of her love and compassion for her dogs, Marbles, Peach, and Kermit, and the love they feel for her. From teaching them how to swim to Kermit’s crying, the bond between owner and pet is evident. So, the next time you encounter a dog, make sure to show them some love and even give them a treat.

2: How To Apply Winged Eyeliner

As YouTube became mainstream, the beautubers arrived in swarms, teaching eager audiences makeup techniques from application of eyeshadow to replicating Kim K’s recent red carpet look. With almost a cult-like following, the beauty instruction videos on YouTube have turned hobbies into thriving careers for so many men, women and everyone in between on the gender spectrum, breaking the stereotype that only women can enjoy makeup. YouTuber NikkieTutorials has partnered with luxury brands, tests the effectiveness of products, and just creates beautiful tutorials of her own. Aside from simply giving lessons on makeup, Nikkie has taught subscribers the influence makeup can have on one’s life in her series “The Power of Makeup.” Whether you wear it or not, makeup has become more popular than ever before, all thanks to YouTube.

3: Acceptance and Growth

In the technological age, information spreads like a fire, and with it burns prejudices of the past, lighting a spark for a better world. Although many aspects of the internet breed toxicity, YouTuber Shane Dawson’s videos have brought both joy and turmoil to audiences. Years ago when his channel began, Shane’s videos focused on sketch comedy, occasionally with prejudiced jabs. However, like many YouTubers, Shane has grown from the mistakes of the past, becoming both a better person and creator. In recent years, Shane has transitioned from sketches to vlogging to creating documentary series. In the midst of this shift, Shane has shared his struggles with subscribers such as growing up poor and overweight, his public coming out story, and even ghost experiences. Yet, with 17-million subscribers, Shane has demonstrated to the YouTube community that while we are all imperfect, what we need to do is not burn bridges, but build them with laughter and compassion.

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