July 9, 2014
As a huge social-media nut, I was thrilled to learn some time ago that I married into a family of YouTube stars (well, at least two of them).
Over the past several years, I have been very impressed with my sister-in-law, Kate, who at age 14 is perhaps more savvy on social media than I, even though I have more than a 10-year head start on her. It’s no surprise to me that she has become such a guru, as she comes from a family of them. There are so many new apps and channels that she has grown up with and has become quite the expert on.
The world of YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat is second nature to Kate and her friends, as they have grown up using it, talking about it and talking through it. For me, these channels are becoming familiar over time, but some are still very new and unfamiliar territory. I enjoy learning something new each day about the channels themselves and the content they hold (often from Kate).
I decided to spend some extra time with Kate recently and interview her on her use of social media. She taught me a few new things, shared fun nuggets about her history with YouTube and introduced me to some of her favorite social-media celebrities.
Here are a few things Kate shared:
M: What was your first social-media experience and what did you use?
K: The first thing I ever used, I think, was YouTube. I’m pretty sure I was 10, and I really enjoyed looking at videos, songs I liked and people who made covers of songs. I also would look at vlogs. The first person I followed faithfully was Landon Austin – still my favorite YouTube artist. He is funny and awkward but also just a really great singer.
M: So I’ve heard you are a YouTube star yourself?
K: Yes. (laughs) I was in a video for one of my dad’s company’s videos when I was 9. My dad and I were dressed up as lunch ladies and got to dance with the guy who is famous for making the Evolution of Dance videos. I even got paid $100!
[Author’s note: You can catch your first glimpse of 9-year-old Kate at 1:56 in the upload of the test video. I still have yet to see the official video – My homework for this week. You’ll see Kate dressed in a yellow apron and a red-striped shirt dancing her heart out. My personal favorite clip of her is at 2:35. Way to go, Kate!]
M: Do you have a favorite social-media channel?
K: Definitely YouTube. When you’re into YouTube, you’re really into it. My second favorites, I would have to say, are probably Pinterest and Instagram. I have a Google+ too because my friends are on there, but I don’t really use it.
I also have a Snapchat and a Tumblr account. I use the Tumblr to follow my favorite YouTubers. People have pages about them or the stars have their own personal pages.
M: You mentioned that YouTube is your favorite and where you spend most of your time. What’s new and interesting currently?
K: There are lots of challenges and ‘tags’ right now that have been popular to watch. Everyone, of course, has seen the Ice Bucket Challenge lately.
One of the tags that I enjoy watching, though it’s not necessarily super-new, is the ‘my boyfriend/brother does my makeup.’ Popular YouTubers (especially makeup vloggers) have their boyfriends or brothers do their makeup. It’s hilarious! I find it really fun to see inside their personal life a bit (and to see them look really goofy for once because their makeup is always done so perfectly in their videos).
The other one we watch (also super funny) is the cinnamon challenge.
[Author’s note: I learned that this is videos of people taking the challenge by putting a large spoonful of cinnamon in their mouth. Well – you’ll have to Google it, or try it, to see what happens.]
M: Who are the hottest YouTubers that are followed amongst your friends?
K: I would have to say… Zoella, Bethany Mota and Tyler Oakley. Bethany is really cool because she has built her own brand by having her own clothing line, bedding line, YouTube show and a perfume. Tyler Oakley is super-famous now that he won a Teen Choice Award. He’s a really good advocate for YouTubers.
I really like Kurt Hugo Schneider as well. He produces music videos with and for lots of other YouTube stars and did a music video this year with a bunch of other YouTube stars like Zendaya and Max Schneider (not related) for a cool Coke commercial.
Oh, and a few others….probably Landon Austin, Cimorelli, Alex Goot, Max Schneider, Daniella Andrade and Pentatonix. I could go on and on…
M: So, you don’t use Facebook or Twitter?
K: I have a Twitter but I don’t really use it. It’s usually just a lot of re-posting of what my favorite people already posted on their YouTube or Instagram. A lot of my friends are on Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t really need another account to keep track of. Maybe some day!
Isn’t she great?
As someone from the AIM, Facebook and Twitter generation (and we can’t forget about MySpace), I am sure I will continue to look to my younger siblings and their peers for some of the latest-and-greatest trends and entertaining videos, especially on YouTube, Snapchat and more. It’s a daily adventure — one I very much enjoy — to navigate the ever-changing and growing world of social media.
While I often spend my time using my social channels to stay on top of the news, my friends, family and what’s going on in the world of business/sports, Kate keeps me on top of what’s hot and fun.
And, who knows – maybe Kate will let me be in her next video!