Liverpool, UK – Since its founding in early 2005, YouTube has grown into a multinational corporation and leads the way in media trends and culture. Along with Twitter and Facebook, it was one of the first major social media platforms that is still in use today.
Over the past 15 years, online content has been a help and a hindrance in a multitude of ways. It has gained a somewhat negative image, stereotypically assuming no effort goes into it and that it exists purely to instantly gratify eager audiences and provide five minutes of fame for the minds behind it.
This is sometimes the case. Low-quality videos are produced and consumed readily.
But many pioneers of social media use it for personal development and to inspire others to live a healthy, productive and engaging life.
One of these people is 19-year-old Beatrice Naujalyte of Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. She is a young digital entrepreneur with a YouTube channel and blog called ‘The Bliss Bean.’ She has also recently launched a podcast and online course.
She shared her views with YJI in a recent Zoom interview.
Despite her success online, Beatrice admitted that at first, she felt uncomfortable with showing her content to friends. Wanting to put herself ‘out there’ felt taboo.
Reflecting on her younger self’s view of YouTube, she said, “I just thought of silly videos, not really anything serious or anything that I would be interested in making. But once I discovered a couple of channels that were about personal development and productivity and leading a meaningful life, I just kind of fell down the rabbit-hole in that way.”
When asked about creators inspiring her over the lockdown period, Naujalyte named ‘The Minimalists.’ But she said she hasn’t consumed much content herself due to a case of “comparison-itis.”
Their podcast came highly recommended and she spoke about how their minimalistic approach to every area of life is helpful in the time of coronavirus.
“I realized that I actually really like being busy and I miss having all this stuff to go to and deadlines to meet, so it’s been a learning experience I would say, learning what I actually need in life,” said Naujalyte.
She said making videos about personal growth has actually accelerated her own personal growth, and that she was really inspired by a comment she heard from another creator who asked, “Does your life follow your blog or does your blog follow your life?”
Online, there is a definite lack of authenticity but there is a new trend of online mindfulness and positivity striving to change that. Wholesome internet culture, despite being an online platform, offers useful and engaging content on accessible platforms.
It seems like a great way to reach the masses of young people who consume it, and I hope that this corner of the internet continues to grow.
Rosie Evans is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.