Friday, July 08, 2016
This is the third video by my friend Paul Armstrong that I’ve shared—and this one isn’t about food! Actually, most of his videos aren’t about food, but the other two I shared were because they gave me a starting point to talk about something. This one does, too.
The video is about, as the title says, “5 Signs You're Getting Older”. I exhibit some of these signs, but not all of them (and I’m older than Paul, I might add…). There are two in particular he mentioned that I’ve heard plenty of other people talk about, too, but that I don’t experience. The first is that I don’t have any trouble sleeping/staying asleep, and the other is that I almost never have to get up in the middle of the night for a pee.
Some of the others are only partly true, or have been true in one form or another for a very long time, and he didn’t even mention some of the other things I experience. Maybe I need to do my own video on the topic. Well, not this week.
I think it’s great to see people who are, say, 45+ making YouTube videos, and for many of the same reasons I like seeing so many young people making videos: It provides a shared sense of community, and an awareness that one isn’t alone in facing particular life challenges.
Last year, I wrote about “All the young dudes” on YouTube, and how their success was due, in part, to demographics: Older people tend to use YouTube less than younger people, so that audience is smaller, and so, the older voices are rarer. It really shouldn't be like that.
Paul’s videos are about his experiences and adventures (some of which are about food…), are just a reflection of the life of gay guys our age. In other words, it’s the same as for the young dudes and dudettes of YouTube, but our experiences and concerns are very different because we’re at a different point in our lives. So, just as the young ones do for their age peers, Paul and a few other older YouTubers are providing a voice for older folks, which is awesome.
I think there’s a particular social good that comes from all this. The young gay dudes can help other young gay dudes to find the strength and courage to come out and live open, authentic lives, and to help them feel less alone. Similarly, older gay YouTubers can do the same for our age peers, many of whom are dealing with the mirror problems of young gay men: Ageing in a society which doesn’t acknowledge there are older gay people, preparing for retirement, and doing all that carrying with us the memory of what it was like to live in more hostile times. I’ve seen this play out in podcasting, so I’m sure it must be even more pronounced among older YouTube viewers.
One of the things I love about YouTube is the wide diversity of voices. I just want to see them be a bit more diverse, particularly with respect to age. I’m glad that Paul is there, providing a sense of belonging for our age peers—along with the occasional video about food, of course.