So some of you beady eyed folk who haven’t muted me yet may have noticed a slight change in look to my twitter profile. The Saved-By-The-Bell-esque cartoon version of me (by the wonderful web designer William Leeks) is part of my little experimental journey into the world of YouTube. Always up for adventure, I have no idea whether this will work but I thought I’d see what happens anyway.
The world of YouTube, or more specifically YouTubers, is fascinating. There are many talented creators that I admire and have followed for years, but compared to the amount of YouTube the kids I work with watch, I barely even scratch the surface. Young people across the world now watch more YouTube than they do TV. The early adopters out there have picked up on this, and realised that for younger viewers this also means less time spent watching educational TV content. It’s what has led to incredibly clever and technically brilliant educational YouTube series such as Wonder Quest (a series of educational Minecraft videos!). There are a number of superb popular YouTubers making challenging and educational content (such as Hank and John Green aka The Vlog Brothers along with a band of Nerdfighters) who enrich the viewing experiences of millions of young minds across the globe. From science to beauty, there are plenty of prominent voices to be found in YouTube, but one area where reliable voices are lacking is health.
The big names amongst YouTubers are starting to make videos to help educate and inform their many millions of viewers. For example, the Australian YouTuber Troye Sivan has made videos about HIV and safe sex. They’re made for a generation born into Web 2.0 – where information is pushed at viewers rather than being sat idle waiting for someone to search for it. In health, we haven’t caught up to this.
So my aim as a kids doctor is to make YouTube videos for young people that are interesting and useful, that might educate or add to existing knowledge, and might just entertain along the way. It’s early days, but the messages and comments I’ve received for my videos so far (especially those for mental health awareness week this year) have been encouraging. With a heap of sex education videos in the pipeline too, I hope this wee experiment adds a little bit to the YouTube world, and if it entertains even a handful of people then it’s totally worth the many hours of trying to convincingly say hello to a camera in my bedroom.
Have a watch, maybe give me a thumbs up, and if you’re feeling extra generous hit subscribe. Until next time, be good.