Liberty Students Use Growing YouTube Platforms To Share Their Stories
YouTube was introduced to the internet in 2005, and as of 2019, according to statistica.com, more than 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute—equating to 30,000 videos every hour. Pew Research Center discovered that as of 2021, YouTube is the most popular social media platform, now used by 80% of Americans. YouTube provides a way for users to grow a following, and two Liberty students have been busy doing just that.
Mikayla Joy and Austin Farmerie, two students in Liberty’s School of Communications, both started their YouTube channels during their freshman year of college and have continued to upload new content to their channels ever since. Both Joy and Farmerie film themselves vlogging about their college lives and provide tips for students who are interested in Liberty. Joy’s channel has over 300,000 views, and Farmerie’s channel has over 100,000.
Their videos provide an outlet to express themselves and share their thoughts and feelings with a wide variety of people.
Joy, a senior who currently has 2.8K subscribers, found her love for filming when she was 6 years old. She would record herself and her little brother and then edit her footage using Windows Movie Maker. By the time she entered high school, Joy started to watch different YouTubers who inspired her to film her own videos. Joy initially started her YouTube channel as a means to document her college life so her family and friends could watch from home.
Similarly, Farmerie, a junior who has 1.8K subscribers, would film himself using his mom’s camera when he was little. In 2013, he used his passion to make a YouTube channel alongside his middle school friends. A year later, Farmerie moved to a new area where he had a hard time finding friends in his new high school, so he used his free time to start his own channel. Even though he was occasionally bullied for making YouTube videos, he stuck with it, and he is happy now that he did.
“My YouTube channel was honestly a way for me to make videos that I was passionate about in a season when I didn’t have many people to talk to,” Farmerie said. “And I think it just flourished from there. I was just passionate about making videos, and I have been ever since.”
Both Joy and Farmerie are vloggers who film their daily routines at school, but they also film informative videos that are intended to help incoming students know what to expect at Liberty. The most popular video that Joy has filmed is “What I wish I knew before attending Liberty University,” and Farmerie’s most popular video is “Trying Starbucks Instant Refreshers/Iced Coffee (Review).” Off camera, the two YouTubers are good friends and have even collaborated with each other for a few videos.
Both Farmerie and Joy have different plans for the direction of their channels. Joy’s plans for her channel after graduation remain uncertain.
“I still wanna vlog to that extent,” Joy said. “But I just think that with YouTube, I don’t know if that’s a platform I want to continue using, so that’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
Farmerie, on the other hand, still has one more year at Liberty. Farmerie said that he wants his content to be less focused on his college life and more about entertainment journalism through the eyes of a college student.
For people interested in starting their own channels, Joy and Farmerie both said that it is important to stay consistent with uploads, to know who your audience is and to stick with your channel if you are really passionate about it. Both said that while some people might make fun of you, it is important to focus on your content and your fans, not the naysayers.
Asher Notheis is a Feature Reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @ashernotheis.