About a million years ago, when I was 12 years old and wary of the internet, I clicked on the wondrous site called YouTube.com. Now you see even though the internet had come really far from what it was, and even back then I think it was pretty cool, but to me it still sounded like a dark shadowy island where no one could actually see my face. So, other than the occasional facebook, and the very frequently playing on mybarbie.or.something.com site I didn’t have much use of the internet. And even when I did hear of this site on which I could watch videos (wow!) all I could think about was, “Yay! More Hannah Montana.”
(Please don’t kill the 12 year old me, she gets better, I promise.)
It was in a very similar day, that I 1st ventured to watch something other that The Winx Club on youtube. I clicked on a video titled – Shananay opens her mail! (I don’t know what I was thinking.) I was definitely intrigued by the thumbnail that had what seemed like a boy dressed up as a girl. (I’m still into that of things.) And VIOLA! The video was everything I didn’t know was possible. It was funny, disturbing, cute, terrifying and dirty and it made me want to watch more even though there were so many A jokes that I shouldn’t have been hearing. I guess, you could thank Shane Dawson’s who had made this video for formally educating me adult jokes, among other things. I couldn’t stop, I watched all his videos (which were a lot, by the way) and I realized there was this entire community of people taking the effort to make these videos to entertain people on a smaller and more accessible screen than television (and of course, to become famous as well.) I think part of the reason people rise to fame on youtube is that you don’t have to go out to a producer or have a screen test done or get someone to check your script. All you need is a little courage and a lot of confidence in yourself and what you believe in.
Now, Shane Dawson was the 1st youtuber I subscribed to, long before being a “Youtuber” became a profession. For the longest time I didn’t subscribe to anyone else before I was scared I wouldn’t like them and so. The thing I like about Shane is that is he so open and provocative about things that people refrain from talking about. He’ll talk about periods, deaths, insecurities, everything under the sun like it’s a normal thing which it is and which we forget under the labels of calling them ‘adult’ or ‘inappropriate.’ In a way you could say he isn’t ashamed of talking like that. And I guess that’s not everyone’s cup of tea to enjoy and to each his own, man. But if 5 million people love him, I think he owes no one an explanation. The other thing about Shane is his struggle, which he never really focuses on but its always there. He was fat kid in school, abandoned by his father and bullied/teased by his friends for being poor. I think that’s a lot to discourage someone. The fact that now he weighs half of what he used to earlier, is a producer of various projects and has his own movie and book, makes me really proud of following him these 5-6 years. I mean, it’s not easy for everybody. But through his sketches, through his jokes he’d make it seem like everything is going to be okay.
I am so happy of how far he has come.
So just two days back I attended the YouTube Fan Fest in India. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me. I wasn’t supposed to go, but with some good sunshine on my side and a very lucky friend, I did have a great, great time. The youtube culture is something a lot of people don’t get. They don’t understand why I fuss about them. From Shane, I subscribed to Charlieissocoollike and Jenna Marbles and it went on and on, helping me discover these people who are just like me and are ready to the show the world the part that makes them special. If you ask me now who my favorite youtubers are, they’ll be Danisnotonfire and EmergencyAwesome, but I’m pretty sure I have a lot more people to watch. Maybe one day they’ll watch me.
So yeah, that’s the story of how I started watching youtube and why I go on.