Social media is a jungle, and most of it is garbage. It’s also the garbage that most teens aged 14-24 prefer to watch over mainstream television. It’s not all bad, though. In fact, some of it is really awesome. Here’s a list of social media stars who may not be the most famous (none of them were nominated for a Teen Choice Award this year--Those went to Miranda Sings, Zoella, and a bunch of white boys with blue eyes and questionable haircuts) but they are at least worth the five minutes it takes to get through one of their vids. Enjoy!
THE JOCK: Devinsupertramp
This YouTube channel is the brainchild of Devin Graham who has over 3 million subscribers and over 630 million views (which not even a lot of TV shows can say these days). His videos are both awesome and motivational. If you’ve never jumped off a remote Italian cliff, this channel will cause you to reconsider your life choices. He also considers his craft a genuine art. There’s not a lot of staring into the camera and trying to be funny in his vids. In fact, there’s none of that. Also, he sounds like a dream boat in interviews, and did I mention that he once dated Lindsey Stirling? (see below)
THE HOT GIRL WHO IS SUPER DEEP: Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey is a classically trained violinist who does it with a beat. She now has two albums under her belt, and her single, Crystallize has 129 million YouTube views to date. To be fair, she’s obviously shooting with a budget (her videos are incredibly dynamic and complex) but she’s also one of the few YouTube stars to make it big without singing covers. At one part dubstep, one part Stradivarius, she’s just weird enough to be justify the obsession.
THE NERD: AsapSCIENCE
These guys tell you everything you need to know about all of life’s great questions in about five minutes or less. Their videos are funny, to the point and have cute little pictures that help you follow along. They also have a fun tumblr, if tumblr is still a thing these days. I can never keep up. Founded by Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, AsapSCIENCE publishes weekly videos ranging from masturbation to which hurts worse: giving birth or getting kicked in the balls. They also have a book, which was reviewed by Chris Hadfield. WHO IS CHRIS HADFIELD?” you say!? Well read on!
THE OLD GUY WHO IS COOL ENOUGH TO HANG: Chris Hadfield
Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space, so you know he’s a nice guy. He’s Canadian. Also, moustache on fleek… just sayin. He is a kick-booty astronaut, but the reason he made this list was his cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity which he recorded on the International Space Station in 2013. He has a fantastic sense of humor, plus a lot of his videos take place in space, and, like, I had no idea what a can of mixed nuts would be like in zero gravity before him.
NO BOYS ALLOWED: Megan Amram
Megan got noticed for her Twitter (how? Who knows. She was super funny, and, like, just got it). That (plus her legit comedy writing chops) led to a job writing for NBC’s Parks and Recreation, a book called Science…for Her! and a web series called Experimenting with Megan Amram on Amy Pohler’s website, Smart Girls. We get it. She went to Harvard. No, for reals, she did.
AV CLUB: Fox ADHD
This one is possibly cheating, because it’s actually a team of writers with backing from a major network...but the ADHD channel covers you if you’re looking for jokes for indoor kids. They have their fingers on the pulse of nerd culture with plenty to say about global and domestic politics to boot. Plus, their last video was about Ernest Hemingway, so you know these kids graduated with honors. They’re absurd enough to keep you on your toes. ADHD is less about being part of the mainstream and more about hilarious commentary on all things once, now, or ever considered cool. These are the kids who wrote the senior superlatives and replaced their class photo with Spiderman clipart.
THEATRE KID: Rachel Bloom
Rachel made her YouTube debut in 2010 with her run away hit “F*ck Me Ray Bradbury,” and followed it up with “You Can Touch My Boobies.” Though she didn’t enjoy extended internet success, the rest of her vids top out around half a million, which is unimpressive in internet terms these days, I say they’re still worth a watch. Rachel is one of the few internet celebrities who can say that their online success has transitioned into a career on the big little screen. That’s right, I’m talking television! (Which you will no doubt watch on your laptop, anyway.) Her show, “Crazy Ex Girlfriend” premiers October 12th on the CW, and, not gonna lie, it looks like more fun than f*cking Ray Bradbury. She also banked a handful of episodes as the voice of Laura on “BroJack Horseman” for extra street cred.