YouTube is to the 21st Century what television was the 20th. The rise of this innovative content sharing platform has allowed us to access more information than ever before, expanding our horizons and enriching society in the process. But with so many videos out there, it’s hard to know how to truly maximise this cutting-edge digital medium’s vast potential. That’s where I come in.
I’ve always has a vast thirst for knowledge, and with the rise of YouTube I’ve been able to indulge my insatiable curiosity to a degree I’ve never been able to before. I’m basically the expert when it comes to what to watch on YouTube, as I’m on there way too often! So utilising my considerable knowledge, here are my suggestions for seven channels you should subscribe to on YouTube…
If you find the circus that is politics as riveting as I do, then Young Turks is the channel for you. Presented by a range of progressive commentators including Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, it offers left-leaning commentary on topics as divisive as the election of Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter, Brexit and the influence of money in politics. The thoughtful, yet humorous, presenters at TYT often offer valuable insight into complex matters which allow the audience to look at them in a new way. I credit TYT with somewhat sparking my own political awakening, something which I believe has made me a better person and a more productive member of society. What better reason to subscribe!
Fine Brothers Entertainment
Pop culture aficionados should subscribe to Fine Brothers Entertainment. Created by two brothers (what a surprise), FBE hosts a series of sketches, funny interviews and challenges which explore fads, pop cultural phenomena and post-modern trends, often to hilarious results. The channel’s piece de resistance is its ‘react’ series, where different age groups e.g. teens, college kids and elders ‘react’ to everything from Taylor Swift videos to ‘mirror polished Japanese foil’ and Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Getting the chance to watch elders react to an Eminem video alone is reason enough to subscribe!
Today I Found Out
Looking for a random fact to brighten up your day? Today I Found Out, a channel fronted by YouTuber Simon Whistler, will do the trick! It covers a whole range of random topics like ‘the numerous bodies found in Benjamin Franklin’s basement’, ‘the one man invasion of Sark’ and ‘Stalin and his size’. You never know what you’ll get, and this is why I keep watching, as this channel always offers something fantastically interesting which allows me to see the world in a new way.
Me and my brother were Geography nerds as a kids; our idea of fun was to play the ‘capital cities game’ at the dinner table!` It should be no surprise then that when I discovered Geography Now, I subscribed while watching my first clip! This channel covers everything geography and has become popular for its country profiles. The host has made it his mission to compile 10 to 20 minute in-depth profiles on every country in the world, working in alphabetical order. These clips are positively illuminating, tackling everything from a nation’s physical borders and natural landmarks to its people and diplomatic relationships. These profiles are engaging and they also boast some truly laugh out loud moments, making the channel a must for anyone who likes both comedy and education.
I was furious when the big wigs at our nation’s public broadcasting network decided to make BBC3 an entirely online channel. I thought it’d be a disaster, but I’m extremely glad to say I was wrong; the online platform produces some amazingly insightful, forward-thinking content and the best of this content can be found on its YouTube channel. It hosts everything from debates on hot button topics such as sexism to short films which analyse the realities of modern British life, especially for young people. My favourite BBC3 YouTube series is one which details ‘things not to say to…’ certain marginalised groups ranging from gay people to Sikhs and redheads, asking the members of these communities to debunk societal misconceptions about how they live, learn and love!
It’s Okay To Be Smart
I was never that into science as a kid; I do find scientific topics interesting, but the way they teach this subject is enough to turn anyone off wanting to know more. If you’re like me and you’ve struggled to develop an interest in science, then It’s Okay To Be Smart’ is well worth watching. Posting roughly five minute clips, the channel devotes itself to explaining various scientific subjects like biology, astrophysics, chemistry and physics. The host, however, is infinitely more adept when it comes to explaining why, for instance, ‘blue so rare in nature’ or ‘where did life come from’ than your old science teacher, allowing you to develop a deeper understanding of how our world works.
The Armchair Historian
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. This sentiment has never been truer than it is at this very moment, with the forces of populism, nationalism and every other type of ‘ism’ imaginable increasingly tearing our society into opposing camps. One valuable, yet fun and engaging, way to acquaint yourself with the sins of our collective past is to subscribe to ‘The Armchair Historian’. The channels takes significant historical events like the Anglo-Zulu War, Napoleon Bonaparte, the scramble for Africa and Nazism and brings these topics to life, playfully retelling them to the audience in the same way your granddad once told you funny stories about his misspent youth. I dare you to watch these clips and walk away bored and uninformed, it’s not possible!