As much as YouTube is usually used for entertainment purposes, there has been a new subgenre in the YouTube community that defies from that stereotype, called StudyTube. Just like the name suggested, these StudyTubers exclusively make content related to studying and education.
Within this genre, you may expect an abundance of study tips and methods videos, alongside ‘study with me’ videos, which is a long video (some reach 4 / 5 hours or more) of people studying, and stationary hauls, ‘journal with me’ videos, and many more. These are basically the types of video StudyTubers makes over and over again, or perhaps with some variation of vlogs and routines videos. Whatever it is, videos they make not only attempt to encourage productivity, they also romanticize and make studying as a part of their identity.
A lot of people respond to the presence of these StudyTubers positively, as the message they’re trying to convey about always being productive is carried through optimally to the audience, until they become a part of the Gen Z pop culture. Thanks to them, people around the world regain their motivation to study and get good grades. It inspires people to manage their time more efficiently and be more organized than ever before.
The flip side of this culture, unfortunately, is that the youth starts to ignore the healthy boundaries and balance between studying and having fun. In some ways, they are not encouraged, rather, pressured to ignore their need to slow down and take care of themselves for the sake of reaching the limits of productivity.
This problem goes hand in hand with the lack of learning style diversity in the StudyTuber community. It only promotes the one common way of studying, by sitting at your desk and bore your eyes by reading and taking notes from a 500 pages textbook, all while playing lo-fi music in the background in order to help you focus and, apparently, enjoy that process.
While for some people, that is an efficient and the most optimal way for them to learn, when this one way of studying became a part of the pop culture and normalized in our education system, it discouraged others to explore that there are other styles of learning that might fit them way better. One may learn better by discussing it with their friends, or watching related documentaries and movies, or by joining related real life activities. All of that deserves to also be represented in the StudyTuber community so that it will give more positive impacts to the audience.
Though, despite all of this, I would never blame the StudyTubers for creating this type of content. After all, they’re just some creators who would never guess that their video can give such impacts to others. Besides, who knows, they might also be as negatively affected by the pressure, just like their audiences.
So whether the StudyTube culture is motivating or discouraging, it all really comes down to us as individuals. Like any other content on the internet, it is not wise to imitate everything you’ve seen, including the over romanticization of studying. And it’s better for us, as the audience, to take a healthier path: the one that perhaps still follows the StudyTube culture of being productive, while also acknowledging our need for personalization of learning, and self care.