“Surround yourself with people you like and make cool stuff with them.” -John Green

I’ve been wanting to write on this particular subject for sometime. Its a subject that not everyone is going to understand. That’s fine but it was a big part of my life for a small part of my life and I wanted to express the thoughts that are floating around in my mind. Inevitably, here is a blog:

Internet culture did a lot for me in 2014. Admittedly, I had a brief stint of it in 2013 but my internet consumption hit its high note in the last year. For one to understand its importance to me you will need some background information:

I graduated college in 2012. The economy was not great. So upon graduation I stayed at a job I worked in during high school and through college for about eight months. I then found a higher paying part time office  job. It was shift work. I worked second and third shift four days a week for eight hours at a time. I worked alone because only one employee was required on second and third shift. As one can imagine I got lonely very quickly. A void was created by my new working conditions. I also was becoming very dissatisfied with my current position in life. I was working a dead end part time job. It was shift work. I worked holidays and I worked alone. This void quickly became a black hole.

How did I fill this void? In the infamous words of Timmy Turner “The Internet”.

It sounds weird. Maybe even simple. But it was wonderful and spectacular all at the same time.

I started watching Youtube. At first I was watching videos from the most popular page and with each video I dug deeper into Youtube culture. I started watching Daily Grace (Grace Helbig). She was my first daily vlogger I watched. Then I would watch Joey Garceffa. I then moved onto Hannah Hart, John Green, Tyler Oakly, Connor Franta, Blimey Cow, and Miranda Sings. And then I discovered the British Invasion. I watched Alfie Deyes, Zoey Sugg, Marcus Butler, Jim Chapman, and Ben Brown. I loved watching gaming channels. Who would have thought, its entertaining watching someone else play a game.  I watched Simmers, Deli, Caithlin, and James Turner and NateWantsToBattle and Dookieshed.

These wonderful people entertained, educated, and excited me.

To this day these people did more for me than television. Because of the nature of Youtube it felt more like socializing with friends. These people let you into their lives. Whether intended to or not you grow a connection with these people. I understand Youtubers control every aspect of what you grow close to but none-the-less you develop a relationship.

If you don’t believe me ask one of the millions of people who watch these guys how it feels when one of their favorite Youtubers misses a day on their upload schedule. Its not pretty.

I was able to watch videos about travel, food, life hacks, video games, books, movies, and pop culture. It was great! Until recently that is. In October I accepted a full time job. It is in my career field, pays three times as much as what I was making, and makes me happy. The draw back? I have essentially left internet culture behind. With the exception of following these guys on Twitter, the occasional pursing of Buzzfeed and checking Facebook notifications I have lost touch with something that got me through a difficult time. A time when I was dissatisfied with the direction my life was going.

I appreciate what Youtube and Internet culture did for me in 2014.

Here are my top five things I got from the “World Wide Web”:

1) A sense of acceptance and thrill for finding like minded people.

2) My sense of adventure was reawakened. I created a travel bucket list.

3) I was entertained by talented people who are doing what they loved.

4) I was educated. Opinions were changed and some were reinforced.

5) I was inspired to go after my dreams,

Its why I started writing a blog.

A huge thank you to all of the youtubers I came to love to watch. Also, I may not watch every single video anymore but I keep up with you guys.

The biggest lesson learned from Youtube and Internet Culture was “do in life what you love”. The above Youtubers never failed to make you feel included and that you too could have a dream.

This in itself is humbling.

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