Born in 1986: Politely smiling and watching the confused faces when you tell people you make a living making videos on YouTube

Call me odd, but I’ve always been fascinated by people born in the same year as me. Perhaps it’s because of the simple reason that I have something in common with another person, but I don’t get the same feeling with anything else. When I see another Asian, I don’t go, “Hmm. I feel connected to that person on an emotional level,” like I do with someone else born in 1986. I guess it’s just the novelty of being born in the same year as someone. We’ve been more or less exposed to the same things. Pop Culture. Current Events. The rise and fall of Shia Lebouf, Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. OK, maybe I was the only person who followed that.

I have been wanting to start a series for a while, but like with many, many things, I had put it to one side with the intention of eventually doing something within the next 15 years. Well, here it is. I know that all of you are disappointed that I’m not doing Fashion Fridays but I don’t think any of you would be interested in seeing photo after photo of me wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.

I often talk about how much society has changed due to the technological advances. Even just 10 years ago, we were still using Myspace, and YouTube was just starting out. Now, I can’t imagine not having YouTube. I don’t know how I survived all those years on the Internet without having one Web site to view videos and having to go from site to site. For my first installment, I will be talking about people who make a living uploading videos on YouTube. I attempted to find three people born in 1986 who write obituaries, but I gave up after seven years of searching.

Ana Kasparian (News/Politics)

I know many of you are going to be like. “Um, who the hell is this person? I’ve never heard of her. She must make sewing videos or something.” Well, no, but I am sure there are many, many well-loved sewing ladies on YouTube.

Ana Kasparian is one of the hosts of the news show The Young Turks. I don’t often watch the show because it’s a tad, too, um, intense for me. I’ve mentioned in the past, how I was trying to keep up with the news. Well, I failed horribly. Although, to my credit, I have finally come up with a system that has worked for me for a while. I just casually browse the Yahoo homepage for a few minutes at a time until something catches my eye. Ana, I know. You’re shaking your head at me and silently judging me, and I’m OK with that.

As I was trying to find a video with Ana, I knew I wanted something light-hearted and recent. Well, I stumbled across this from almost nine years ago, and I thought, “Yeah. I’m going to use this.” Oh well. One out of two isn’t bad.

Michael Stevens (Science/Tech)

Michael Stevens is the creator of VSauce, which focuses on science and technology. It started out as a video game channel but when he uploaded science videos, people were like, “Wow, this science video is great but what is up with all of these Call of Duty videos?”, so it morphed into a science channel. He mostly focuses on answering scientific questions we all wonder about. Why is yawning contagious? Why are things creepy? Why do Asian men cry ten times more than White men? OK, maybe not that last one, but I’m sure it’s something you want to know.

Jenna Marbles (Comedy)

OK. This is the person almost everyone is going to know. She’s blond. She’s loud. And she doesn’t care about what you think of her. She’s pretty much the opposite of me.

Her content has varied over the years. They range from her just talking to having conversations with copies of herself to reacting to videos to her doing a specific task. Guess which one I like the most?

Yes. If you want my attention, attach balloons to your dog. Actually, no. Use your ferret. That will get you more views.

Oh, and there’s a wax statue of her.

Oops. I accidentally made a post about rainbow colored things.

A common theme here on this blog is how out of touch I am with technology. I am one of the very, very, very few people in the entire world who does not have a Smart phone. I also do not keep up with the news, have a TV or listen to music as much as everyone else does.

Not surprisingly, when there’s a fad or cultural phenomenon, I often don’t participate. There are some that I like. Harlem Shake videos are cute. 13 Reasons Why is a good show. Podcasts are a constant necessity for me to live and function as a normal human being. However, there are just some things that I don’t understand, like this music video.

KONY2012

OK, so I didn’t even know what this was until, well, five seconds ago. I remember it was plastered all over YouTube by annoying people who barely knew what they were doing. When I saw a sea of “KONY2012” flooding YouTube, I honestly thought, “Wow, I don’t know who this KONY person is, but they must be a good rapper for all of these kids to be obsessed with him.” Yeah, I know. I can feel you eating a grilled cheese sandwich and silently laughing at me while sipping your ginger ale.

Pokémon Go

As I do not have a Smart phone, so I can’t use aps nor have I substituted texting for basic human interaction. So naturally, when almost everyone in the entire world was obsessed with catching Pokémon, I was just being my usual self and silently judging everyone while I stared at blank space doing nothing and waiting for the fad to pass. A second later, everyone just stopped playing. I guess they wanted to go back to texting full time.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I know this was for a wonderful cause, but I personally did not see the entertainment or educational value of throwing ice water all over your body. It was supposed to create awareness and raise money from charity. I would rather do it the old fashioned way and just read a pamphlet and send a check. If I wanted to do something fun, I would dive into a pool of chocolate pudding.

I don’t know why this video exists, but I’m glad it does.

Here’s my video pitch for BuzzFeed: A group of YouTube commenters who are actually witty and charming eating cake, or possibly some sort of fight to the death

You know society is digitally progressing at a rapid rate when you’re starting to be nostalgic over YouTube videos. No, I’m not talking about perky 19-year-olds talking about their makeup routines. I’m too beautiful for makeup. I am talking about BuzzFeed and similar channels where they take groups of people and have them do some sort of task. It ranges from eating Indian food to watching Bridezillas. It can go to the extreme like, I don’t know, watching porn with porn stars. No, I’m not going to link to that video. Instead, here’s a very touching Vienna Teng song. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.

Now, naturally, while browsing through the countless sea of videos from what I’m going to call shameless content mills, I went with the very familiar theme of nostalgia. The first two are obvious. PSAs remind me of my childhood and, well, I’m Asian. The last one, eh. I knew I wanted to link to a BuzzFeed video, but I wasn’t naturally drawn to any of them. In a quick panic, I chose the German food taste test one because I thought it was funny, and I took a German class in college five years ago. Eh, it counts.

Asian Guy Being Chased by Mob of Angry Photographers for Taking Sad Pictures of Sad Things

Over the past decade, we have seen the Internet change dramatically. There’s the obvious: We are more dependent on the Internet, and we’re on our phones a lot. I am, of course, not on my phone that much because I do not have a Smartphone. I actually have an anti-Smartphone, otherwise known as a disposable cell phone that I can lose and easily replace with little worry and much ease. Hey, look at me. I’m special.

I can barely remember what the Internet was like ten years ago. All I know is that it was nothing like it is today. It’s interesting because we were in a transitional period at the time. Back in 2007, we were still using Myspace and AOL Instant Messenger. A few years later, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and, oh yeah, Smart Phones took over. Several years later, well, they’ve dominated the world. Soon enough, we will just stop interacting with each other, lock ourselves in enclosed spaces, then die alone from natural causes. Sounds lovely.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Web sites that were popular ten plus years ago that have disappeared into the woodwork. Why did they not stand the test of time? Do people still use them? What will happen to them later on? I don’t know what will happen to these Web sites in the future. Chances are likely that they will suffer the same fate of Michelle Branch.

Blogger

When starting a blog, I’ve always advocated doing it on your own as opposed to using a Web site like Blogger or WordPress. I, of course, know that not everyone can commit to a domain name and a hosting package, but I recommend it if it’s possible for you.. The problem with Blogger and WordPress is that it gives you limited options for customization, and it gives you less control when it comes to coding and other things.

Blogger has fallen to the wayside in favor for other Websites and installing blog systems on their domains. I, myself, have never used Blogger. I’ve always had my own domains. I remember the one time I tried to start a blog on blogger, I had extreme difficulty. I don’t remember what happened. All I know is I was frustrated and angry. If I’m going to be angry and frustrated either way, I’d rather just do it on my own.

Flickr

Flickr was never really a Web site that was extremely popular because it geared toward professional and hobby photographers. I feel like, over the years, it’s gotten less and less popular. I browse through photos for both blog posts and inspiration. It just reminds me that a lot has happened, a lot is going to happen and a lot is happening right now at this moment. It’s a reminder that I’m human. And, no, I do not get the same feeling from Instagram. Flickr is more “Look at this picture of a squirrel looking at a rainbow I took in the pouring rain on an empty stomach. Aren’t I awesome?” Instagram is more like “Look at my dog. He’s cute.”

Pandora

Of the three here, Pandora was really the only Web site I used on a regular basis. I just started losing interest and got my music from other places, mostly YouTube. I do use Pandora from time to time, usually if I want to find artists or songs similar to ones that I’m already familiar with, or to listen to a genre station. One can only listen to Michelle Branch for so long. It is a good way to find songs you’ve never heard of before.

OK. You can send in the mob of angry Asians with bamboo torches now.

Help, my Twitter account has fallen and it can’t get up

I often talk about how I’m not as technologically savvy as most people are. This, of course, extends to social media. For the longest time, I only had a FaceBook account that I used mostly for games. Now, it just collects dust as if it’s George Bush autobiography.

A year ago, around the same time I started Nostalgicism, I decided it was finally time to make a Twitter account. Personally, I have no need for Twitter. I do feel I need to socialize and network more than I am and, let’s be honest, I’m not doing all that much in terms of socializing and networking, heh.

Using Twitter may seem simple to most but for me, it’s completely overwhelming. The problem isn’t only figuring out what to say. It’s also finding people to follow and trying to get people to follow you while at the same time avoiding telling them outright to actually follow you. It’s tricky business, and why I ended up abandoning my account for several months.

Recently, I’ve started using Twitter again, and unsurprisingly immediately started to get overwhelmed. A series of frivolous questions came flowing into my mind. How do I get more followers? How do I find more people to follow? How do I decide who to follow? What do I want to achieve on Twitter? And most importantly, how do I force myself to use Twitter on a regular basis and not want to both cry and die at the same time?

The answers to these questions are unknown at the moment. The plan right now is to take things slowly and at least spend a little bit of time on Twitter on a regular basis. Sigh. I wish I were living in 2004 right now.

Sitting around a fireplace with your friends…listening to podcasts and eating salad

I’ve never considered listening to the radio as nostalgic. It’s really the equivalent to watching TV. When you want something specific, you’re enjoying something that you like. When you don’t have anything in mind, you just keep searching until you find something that seems interesting to you. Even if it just ends up being background noise, it’s better than being surrounded in cold, dead silence. I already know I’m going to be dying. I don’t need a constant reminder of my impending death.

Like with everything, technology has taken over the radio and nearly everyone is relying on streaming for their audio needs. Granted, it’s not a huge lose when it comes to the radio because, honestly, people only listen to the radio in the car. They don’t hover around a clock radio they bought in 2002, nor do they sit in their car in their driveway rocking to Coldplay.

Most of you might be surprised that I discovered podcasts in 2008. Yes, 2008. I know. I know. It’s quite early compared to what you would think. The first podcast I listened to was Will Write for Wine. It centers around two authors who talk about, you guessed it, writing and wine. Mainly focusing on helping writers improve their craft, it is filled with humorous moments and giant water slides. Yeah… giant water slides. The weekly podcast officially ended in 2009, with a small handful of podcasts released shortly after. After a six-year hiatus, yes, six years, they recently uploaded an episode. And, surprise, giant waterslides came up again. I know. I have an interesting taste in podcasts.

I haven’t listened to as many podcasts as I would want, but there are a few that I’ve enjoyed for years. Yes. Call me a creature of habit. Just don’t call me David Hasselhoff.

Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend

Alison Rosen, former co-host of the Adam Carolla Show, gives us an intimate spotlight on both her life and others in two versions: a one-on-one interview and talking with her husband and group of close friends.

Link to Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend

Other People on the Show: Daniel Quantz (Alison’s Husband), Jenna Kim Jones (Comedian), Allan Moss (Jenna’s Husband), Greg Heller (TV Producer), and Jeff Fox (Podcast Producer)

Topics Often Talked About (as of September 2016): Alison’s infertility issues and upcoming pregnancy, Jenna and Al’s daughter Sam and parenthood in general, Stranger Things, Food and snacks of all kinds, Mormonism

I am not a big fan of one-on-one interviews, so I’m going to focus on the version of the show that I often listen to, which is Alison gathering her husband and close friends around her dining room table to talk about seemingly random topics. With so many people, it seems as if you’re interrupting a private conversation among a group of friends. In each episode, there are a variety of emotions and tones. You’ll get tears. You’ll get laughs. You’ll get silent and not-so-silent judgment. Most importantly, you’ll get subtle sarcasm. How fitting for me.

Spilled Milk

Food writers Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton talk about a different food topic each week while going on comedic tangents.

Link to Spoiled Milk

Topics Often Talked About (as of September 2016): Molly’s fondness for France, Matthew’s fondness for Japan, Matthew’s mother, Various random people from Molly’s past and present

While it’s a food and cooking podcast, let’s be honest. It’s a comedy podcast first, and a food/cooking podcast second. Filled with ridiculously humorous and candid moments, Molly and Matthew talk about anything and everything while staying on topic. Honestly, if you want to know about France, Japan or Oklahoma, this is the podcast for you.

Hello Internet

Educational YouTubers Brady Haran and CGP Grey talk about various topics through two vastly different viewpoints

Link to Hello Internet

Topics Often Talked About (as of September 2016): Flags, Plane Crashes, Mountains, Movies, Brady’s tendency to collecting everything, Grey’s tendency to collecting nothing

What do you get when you put an extroverted, slightly unorganized collector of everything with an extremely introverted, robotic-like, minimalist in the same room? The world is afraid to know. Thankfully, in most of the episodes Brady and Grey do the podcast in separate cities. With a focus on technology and other educational topics, the two opposites share their thoughts and often engage in friendly banter. Essentially, this is what you get from a podcast done by an old married couple. That’s not a bad thing though.

Yay. It will only take me 215 years to decide which watch I want to buy.

With my bio as a constant reminder, I am a collector of everything. When it comes to electronics, though, I am the equivalent to an 83-year-old Lithuanian woman. One with mobility issues and a polka dotted scarf wrapped around her head.

All I have is a laptop, a digital camera and a pay-as-you-go phone. I am comfortable with having a pay-as-you-go cell phone because I hardly use it anyway. I don’t need a Smart Phone, and it does make me special that I’m one of the few people who aren’t glued to their phone. Yes, I’m a special kind of special: a relatively young person who’s living as if it’s the early 2000s. Well, at least it’s fitting for my blog.

There are certain purchases that I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time now, but it’s difficult for me to take the plunge. I’ve been browsing here and there, but even making a $20 purchase makes me nervous. I don’t know what’s worse: buying something and hating it or not buying something and regretting it. Ugh. I am the epitome of first world problems apparently.

Here are some of the things I’ve been wanting to purchase. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know before my head explodes with indecision.

A watch

Like many others, I rely on my cell phone to know what the time is. It’s a hassle to pull something in and out of my pocket. I just want to look at my left wrist and be done with it. This is a relatively small and inexpensive purchase, but it still terrifies me. I am worried that I’m going to somehow break the watch the moment I get it.

On a related note, I discussed this with a friend of mine, and he’s trying to convince me to buy a pocket watch. Yeah, first, we’re not in the 1800s. Second, I don’t want to end up being like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I’m not that special.

A DSLR Camera

It’s to no one’s surprise that my current camera setup is quite sad with all of the low quality obviously heavily edited photos I post. Right now, I have a point-and-shoot digital camera and a questionable tripod. I know I need to upgrade because I do have an interest in photography and want to take photos that, you know, I don’t look at and think, “Ugh. People will think I’m an elderly woman slowly losing her eyesight.” Well, I guess it at least helps to improve the “elderly woman” image I’m trying to project.

Photoshop/Final Cut Pro

I have to admit, I don’t really make videos. I would like to make it easier for me though. All I have right now is a cheap program from Corel that is barely functional for me. I just can’t commit to Final Cut Pro though, even though I know it’s the best option for editing videos. After a lengthy search, I couldn’t really find an alternative that I was comfortable with in terms of features and price.

For editing photos and the like, I’ve been using Paint Shop Pro 7. Yes, 7. I’m that ancient. I’ve been thinking about getting Photo Shop, but again, is it really worth it? I’ve been fine with my dinosaur software program though. If only I can find the equivalent in a watch.