What an unpleasant feeling: all 30 comments under my video were hateful. Two years ago, when I saw the first negative comment about my work, I was startled.
Initially, my YouTube channel, started in 2018, provided phone reviews: I felt great in this field, and I was thinking I can provide useful information to people. I’d been improving all aspects of the production, when in 2020 I gained some popularity: one video got 140 views after one day and went over 1,000 in a month. It discussed the newly released phone with a portion of skepticism.
It was the video I mentioned in the introduction. There were opinions with the point, undoubtedly, but mostly it was pure hate based on (still) poor audio/video quality and, obviously, my age. In retrospect, it is pretty clear that «14-year olds should study, not make videos» opinion is quite popular, but back then it went deeply to my soul.
I was thinking «this time, when the algorithm will choose me, I will wake up famous». That mysterious algorithm had chosen me, but I was mentally destroyed. I was questioning myself if I should retire from YouTube, as more and more unpleasant comments were appearing. I talked with my father, explaining my concerns about the situation, when he told me not to pay attention to these people. They probably searched for a place to relieve their anger and came across my video. With that understanding I just continued to make videos, hateful comments were not bothering me, probably for the reason of «algorithm» choosing me no more.
Some time later, in 2021, I realized that producing phone reviews isn’t that special. I still might be capable of bringing something new to the format, but will it actually benefit someone? Isn’t YouTube already full with any potential kind of reviewer doing anything the viewer could ask? And then I looked out of my window. Not the best view, I should say. Yakutsk, the city where I lived my whole life, was cloaked in smoke from the forest fires and I clearly remember that somewhere behind that building landfill is located. Street wasn’t any better. It was quite hard to breathe normally, and lots of cars were cruising around—greenhouse effect as it is.
This is why I finally decided to switch to environmental content, releasing «Ecological problem of EVs”—disproving a common opinion of electric vehicles being great to the environment. I found myself really into environmental discussion: opinions were controversial, no consensus was achieved anywhere. Seemingly no one talked about it, at least in the Russian segment of YouTube. Later I produced a video called „paper bags are killing us”—a more common delusion about plastic bags being the worst option if you care about our planet. This topic is closer to me: my school tells to bring cotton bags (the worst option, according to my findings) and refuses plastic ones, not wanting to hear anything against it. Not to mention, this video, with the other one called „big problem of logistics“, has a part about landfills, which is by far the most popular way of dealing with waste in Russia. 93% of the waste goes into landfills and only 7% are recycled in some way, however, incineration is also considered as recycling, which is partly wrong. Russia has a lot of space free for dumping waste,
indeed, but recycling facilities greatly reduce the amount of methane released into the air and allow us to save materials for the future.
This is the topic I can create unique content everyone needs, yet anyone watches. These new videos have about 100 views each, but this doesn’t matter to me. Any of these videos is the result of 20+ hours of researching information and 30 hours of editing, with the latter done in just less than a week. I’m proud of every pile of information I said in the videos, every pile I looked at, and I believe I opened eyes to someone, which will, probably, lead us to a better future. With over 5 years of experience on YouTube, seeing misunderstandings and wrong opinions while preparing for videos, I developed critical thinking, which I’m trying to provide to other people. Later on, after getting into university, I hope to access bigger information sources in order to spread the information to a wider audience. Also, I believe that in university I might get in touch with the specialists in other fields of science, who can accompany me in creating videos, as well as help in my own initiatives.