The Rise of “Human” YouTube Channels

Written by: Sarah

Visual by: Sarah

Edited by: Joaquin

Over quarantine, the rise of “human” YouTube channels has captured us all. Phenomena like the “Fish Girl” from Cut have gone viral on TikTok and other social media platforms. It appears that these channels, focused on human behavior and self improvement, answer to each one of us. 

One such channel, Jubilee, focuses on human connection and challenging conventional thinking. Though some of the conversation topics normally create a divide amongst people, the point of the channel is that it is situated in a safe, controlled and positive environment that allows for everyone to be vulnerable enough to share their views without the fear of being judged – regardless of whether you think they’re right or wrong. For example, Middle Ground is a series where two different groups of people – such as pro-lifers or pro-choicers – with very different backgrounds gather to discuss all kinds of confronting statements linked to their beliefs. Jubilee engages with a spectrum of people with varying ideas, allowing us a multitude of perspectives – all while us viewers are situated from our homes. 

Meanwhile, Cut, another YouTube channel, creates videos with a lighthearted twist on presumptions. Series like “Guess My” or “Lineup” explore the judgment of people at face value, exposing said sentiment by doing little “case studies” on groups of people, based on things such as their sexual orientation or their race. The channel challenges stereotypes and forces us to see whether the way we think about the people around us is truly how they are.

It is no secret that these channels have enraptured millions of people – the question is: why?

Channels such as Cut and Jubilee spark dialogues with different people with different opinions on a wide variety of subjects. It could come down to empathy and respect. With each interpretation and conversation, we gain an insight into the diversity of humanity; however, in today’s polarized climate, it is difficult to sit down and have a dignified inquiry into such perspectives. Many people lack respect for different opinions, regardless of what the topic is, and regardless of political leaning. 

In this day and age especially, against media magnification and the constant bombardment of negativity towards groups of people, it could be that it’s simply nice to see people sat down talking about their differences, and that a platform is being given to individuals who wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to talk about themselves and their experiences. Such channels essentially answer a what-if; what if a conversation could be had about various topics that are otherwise too taboo to talk about in real-life?

In quarantine, these channels bring us the core of humanity – all the imperfections and division in today’s society that are humanized in videos – and extend our understanding to all sorts of people. It’s evident that we have all found ourselves truly enraptured by the “Human” channels of YouTube.