YouTube culture reaches every social group

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From the early years of Keyboard Cat to the adorable Kid President, YouTube videos have become a cultural staple of the procrastinator’s toolbox.

But, while some videos can be nothing more than mindless nonsense, some students argue that without YouTube, they would be high-strung wrecks during the semester.

Lacy Culpepper, a junior English major from Clinton, said watching YouTube videos provides a much-needed break during high-stress study times.

“You don’t have to commit to watching an entire movie,” she said. “You can just sit there and watch little snippets and then go back to what you’re doing after your brain is a little bit more recharged and refreshed.”

Culpepper said some of her favorites included the “Epic Rap Battles of History” series, which features rappers dressed up as famous historical and cultural figures having rap battles with one another. 

“I think my favorite is ‘Cleopatra versus Marilyn Monroe,’” she said. “You listen to their stuff and it’s both culturally and historically accurate with some of them. The nerd within me gets a kick out of them.”

For other supposed nerds in the world, a favorite is the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel, where fantasy and science fiction writers discuss writing. Brookanna Alford, a junior criminal justice major from St. George, said one of her favorite programs on the channel is Patrick Rothfuss’ podcast “The Story Board.”

“This last month they talked about sex scenes in contemporary fiction, and what’s acceptable and what’s not,” she said. “It’s super-geeky stuff, so science fiction and fantasy. It’s really fun.”

Alford also said she enjoyed watching lesser-known and upcoming artists who can only be accessed through YouTube.

“YouTube is free, and it’s so comprehensive,” she said. “If you’re looking for a specific video, you’ll get it on YouTube.”

Ebeenezer Boateag, a sophomore health science major from Takoradi, Ghana, said he uses YouTube to watch live performances. He said the free access to live music makes YouTube convenient and allows him to gain inspiration for his own music. 

“It kind of opened up my brain whenever I go [to YouTube] and watch live performances,” he said.

Jonathan Cabrera, a junior biology major from New York City, said he found the multiple Gallon Smashing videos funny.

“It’s just random and funny,” he said. “You get to see people and how they react in awkward settings. I like it because it’s something I can see myself doing.”

Cabrera said he usually uses YouTube to watch mixed martial arts and boxing videos. Like Culpepper, he uses them as study breaks.

Cabrera said YouTube videos were so popular because of their escapist nature.

“It makes us wish we could step out of our comfort zone and do it ourselves,” he said.