Power of the Internet

Power of the Internet

Megan Mousaw

Culture Editor

I am constantly hearing my parents tell me how bad spending a lot of my time on the Internet is and how it’s such a bad place. I find myself on the Internet more and more often as a distraction from my homework or something to pass the time. You can find me on just about anything: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, you name it. My parents scowl at me for having my nose in my phone instead having my nose in a riveting book, but, when you’re a 16-year old in the generation of new and grand technology and ideas, it’s kind of hard not to have your eyes glued to a screen.

I think my parents, with every other adult, really underestimate the Internet and what people can do and say on it that can make a huge difference. The Internet is a creative platform, with tons of different websites to express yourself and your creativity on.

The websites that have made the biggest impact on me personally are probably YouTube and Twitter. These are the two social media sites I probably spend the most time on and they are two of my favorites. And the impacts they have started haven’t gone unnoticed from the public eye either.

I personally think YouTube is one of the most influential website for some people out there today. People can easily make their own channel and create what they want to create on this unique outlet. So many people have done this and so many have become successful from it as well. YouTubers like Tyler Oakley, Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Troye Sivan, and SO many more have become successful just because of their YouTube channel.

Tyler Oakley started his YouTube channel and 2007 and it has benefitted him so much to this day. Oakley uses his YouTube channel as a platform for LGBT rights and to strongly show his support for the Trevor Project, an organization for the prevention of suicide among LGBT kids and teens. Oakley now has 7.9 million subscribers and has his own book, Binge, his own podcast, Psychobabble, and has appeared on tons of shows, like The Late Late Show with James Corden and MTV’s Catfish.

Zoe Sugg (Zoella on YouTube) started her YouTube in 2009 shortly after she started her blog. Now, she has over 10 million subscribers, created her own beauty line, Zoella Beauty, and has written two books, Girl Online and Girl Online: On Tour.

Troye Sivan has 3.9 million YouTube subscribers, but has come a long way to where he started. Sivan became really well known after he came out on the Internet in August 2013, and from there on out his channel grew with support and his strong content. In 2014, Sivan announced his EP, TRXYE, released his debut album, Blue Neighborhood, in December 2015 and has performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

I think what makes these YouTubers so popular with their fans is that they connect and talk to their fans. Just about every YouTuber has a Twitter and Instagram where they can talk to their fans (and do some self promotion, of course). And with conventions like Vidcon, Playlist Live, and many more, fans can easily meet the person they watch through the computer screen.

Twitter is another major social media site that has a huge influence on society recently, and all with the simple hashtag. So many popular hashtags have started so many powerful movements this past year, like #PrayforParis, #BlackLivesMatter, #LoveWins and #MarriageEquality, and #IStandWithAhmed.

These hashtags, along with others, brought attention and awareness to many situations and news that happened in the past year. Some hashtags involved controversial topics that led to disagreement among the media, some brought due to the happiness of an event, and some were created by people that came together over heartbreaking events. Either way, hashtags became too big for people to ignore and got people talking and supporting.

So if you’re like me and spend a little too much time on the Internet scrolling through social media, it’s okay. It’s not a bad thing to be connected to the world through a simple website.

The Internet is a creative platform that connects us with the world around us, and some people have not seen the full potential in the Internet.