Despite all the criticism of them, young internet celebrities can make you feel as if you’re not alone
I started watching YouTubers in the summer of 2013 when I was 18 years old. I was going through one of the hardest times of my life and doubt I would have come through it without them. Three months earlier I had dropped out of school due to depression and since then had developed severe anxiety. I could barely leave the house, was going to therapy every single day and had trouble doing pretty much anything except lying in bed watching TV.
I write a blog and had followed the blogging community for a long time, but the idea of watching videos of someone I didn’t know had never appealed to me. My viewing time was saved exclusively for Friends re-runs and Greys Anatomy. One night though, as I lay in bed trying to find new blogs, I came across one called Zoella, written by a girl just a few years older than me called Zoe Sugg. She was funny, interesting and her blog was incredibly well written, the posts guiding me towards her YouTube videos. I sat and watched a few and at first was unimpressed. She had more than a million subscribers to her channel and I couldn’t quite understand the appeal. But I kept on watching, fuelled by insomnia, and by the morning I was hooked.