YouTube breeds community but also addiction

By Emma Whitaker | Broadcast Reporter

Many young adults enjoy YouTube to pass the time. In fact, I have a graduated friend who has a desk job but says he really has just become a professional YouTube watcher. YouTube is said to be the second largest search engine, secondary to the obvious king of kings, Google. Processing more than 3 billion searches a month, YouTube is a well-oiled machine.

YouTube can bring together community. I had recently been looking into health vloggers and stumbled across a gigantically interconnected cyperspace community. Veganism thrives on YouTube. Vegan vloggers encourage their fellow cyber friends to carry on with the plant-based trail of thought through new recipes, drink concoctions, herbal remedies and more.

Vloggers use YouTube as a way of communicating their holistic lifestyles. People comment in video after video to help one another with health issues such as skin disease, headaches and digestion. Whenever you feel like your health will never improve and that you are struggling all alone, a whole YouTube community outcries otherwise. You have thousands of people by your side; 80,000 friends liking the same video you liked. The site can become a family.

There are some negatives to the site, however. YouTube can become a place of hiding. Like any other television network or video streaming service, YouTube can become an addiction, the first thing we turn to in stress. We can feel dependent on the need for entertainment. Mindless videos seem to help us cope with negative emotions. When anxiety arises, so mirrors a student’s time on YouTube.

Not to mention, the content of these videos are not always positive. It is the battle of what you choose to watch, and what you choose not to watch.

I find in the morning, YouTube is a wonderful source of worship music. I find that when I want to listen to a sermon, YouTube has exactly the kind of messages I want to hear. Yet, I also find that when I am struggling with sin, YouTube has the kind of things I should not watch as well.

This is the perfect dilemma of life, a good thing can become corrupt fairly fast. This is where I have to ask God to help me. I ask Him to abide in me. He always comes to my aid.

Instead of mindlessly coping with sadness and anxiety, I lean closer to the heart of Jesus. I remember that distraction from pain, in the form of videography and other sources of entertainment, does not ultimately satisfy the deep desire in my heart to be known and to be comforted. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only ones that can truly give rest and renewal.

I choose to run to God, instead of YouTube, for peace. I choose Him, instead of choosing distraction. He always satisfies me. He always come to my pain and heals me.