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With the rapid modernization of the internet, social media has become increasingly popular amongst all ages. Some platforms, such as YouTube, are frequently known for its exponential growth in viewers. However, many people view YouTube as a useless platform that doesn't provide for one's betterment. In my opinion, there are multiple advantages of YouTube that overthrow this particular disadvantage and concern.

The truth is that when people are given the choice between reading an article on a topic or watching/listening to a video on that topic, most often, if not all the time, many would opt for the second option. This is because YouTube presents a “show, don’t tell” ideology. The substantial amount of benefits that YouTube has should allow it to be a website that is viewed positively. My goal in this article is to highlight some of the benefits of YouTube and prove it to be one that is not useless but rather beneficial in many ways.

An effortless way of staying up to date

One of the benefits of YouTube is that it allows people to receive and share information on various relevant and trending topics in an orderly fashion. Not only can YouTube be used to watch random videos but it can also be used for educational purposes. For example, many local and global news channels are easily accessible, such as CBC News, CityNews Toronto and CNN to name a few. This not only allows you to stay up to date on issues that occur in your local community, but to also stay up to date on global issues.

The popularity of news channels can be seen in the number of subscribers for each channel. For instance, currently, the subscriber count for CBC stands at 2.47 million, whereas CNN stands at 11.8 million. Those numbers demonstrate the popularity of news channels on YouTube. As a result, local and global messages can be easily sent out to bigger audiences in a matter of minutes. In addition to news channels, lifestyle channels such as workout, craft and cooking channels, allow you to stay up to date on current healthy habits, easy DIY activities and tasty recipes.

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Free to use

Perhaps one of the most prominent benefits of YouTube is that it's free! YouTube is an affordable way to receive and share information. This in itself is proven to be beneficial for lower-income families who cannot afford to buy cable or a television. YouTube works towards educating poorer families on issues that are both inside and outside their bubbles. Even if someone doesn't have a phone, YouTube can be easily accessed through desktop computers that are available for free in libraries. And overall, who doesn't love free stuff? Especially when those free things can improve your life.

Answers unanswered questions and concerns

YouTube also answers unanswered questions. Growing up, children are often told by their parents to “look things up,” if they're confused. Rather than consulting the help of articles to answer their questions, kids often gravitate towards watching a YouTube video. YouTube also provides individuals with advice on various issues. This is because many choose not to confide in their friends and family since they fear what reactions and judgements they might receive.

YouTube offers a digital platform that indirectly provides help to those that are in need, and limits fear of judgements since they do not need to explain what they're going through. Need some help on what videos to watch when you're in need of help? Here is a list of 70 self-improving YouTube channels that can positively help you develop yourself. By watching/listening to another's story, you can find hope and strength during the rough times. YouTube isn't just a platform that has videos on useless topics, but it's a platform that, when used correctly, can be beneficial towards your mental and physical health, as there are many workout videos that are easily accessible.

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Allows you to relax 

Though it's clear that YouTube enriches one knowledge, it also works in less stressful ways. Known for its diverse range of videos, YouTube allows one to escape reality by tapping into a virtual world in a relaxing manner. In this way, the functionality of YouTube is similar to Netflix as it provides enjoyment for viewers, while also increasing their intellect. The concern of many is that watching YouTube videos might be very distracting, but only one person can be the judge of that: you. You're the only one that knows yourself the best, so when you feel like you need a break, kick back and relax while watching videos that interest you. From videos about DIY crafts and animals to videos/podcasts on lifestyle, there's a video for everyone.

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Overall, YouTube is an excellent platform that consists of a variety of videos. It not only works for personal uses such as sharing videos and creating them, but it also allows you to engage in videos that boost your intellect. The benefits of YouTube that I’ve mentioned above are some of the most prominent advantages of the social website. While it’s true that YouTube may provide mindless entertainment for users, mindless entertainment doesn’t always have to be a bad thing? YouTube, in my opinion, is a productive tool not only for businesses but also for one's personal health. Rather than discouraging people from watching YouTube, we should encourage them to do so because you’d be surprised with how beneficial a supposedly “mindless” and “useless” video might be.  

Natasha Khan

York U '23

Natasha Khan is an avid reader and writer who loves expressing her viewpoints through captivating and informative articles. She is a second-year student majoring in the Honours Law and Society program at York University and enjoys advocating for social justice issues. When Natasha's not reading or writing you can find her in the kitchen experimenting with a combination of sweet and savoury treats.
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