Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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photo: Corbis

I don’t watch traditional television anymore, plain and simple. While I can remember coming home from school and catching up on The Simpsons and That '70s Show, those are times of the past and there’s no point in looking back. My craving for entertainment has shifted from one video spectrum to the next. I can’t remember the last time I turned on my TV and didn’t immediately go to the YouTube application on my Apple TV.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos for over seven years now, but I’ve been a devoted viewer for the past three. What first started off as curiosity on what the YouTube hype was about completely morphed itself into full-fledged commitment — and it’s a loyalty I don’t mind having. I was one click away from opening up a portal of endless content that I could curate based on my own taste. I didn’t have to wait around for a scheduled show to come on — everything was at my fingertips and I was in control of what I wanted to spend my time watching. This is where I found the beauty in the video-sharing website that has changed me.

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My problem with traditional television stemmed from feeling like I was watching the same show, across varying channels, with the same actors. It becomes a snooze-fest, and at some point something’s gotta give. I will admit that I do enjoy television shows like Scandal and Empire, but I can just hop on a streaming site and binge-watch those — that’s how I prefer to watch any television series. And even then I’m not fully immersed in following through all the way because the Internet has made it so easy to recap episodes for me in 300 words or less, begging me to ask the question: Do I even need to watch that now? Thankfully, my relationship with YouTube is far more complicated — in a good way.

In the mornings I love to watch beauty videos, at night I like to watch daily vlogs, and on the weekends I like to watch everything in between. I have my routine down — I know what I like and when I want to watch it. I honestly wouldn’t be sad if in some alternate universe cable television ceased to exist, but if YouTube flat-out disappeared I think I’d go a little more than crazy. So hear me out on the nine reasons why my heart skips a beat when it comes this epic platform.  

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1

It’s accessible

What is there not to love about something that’s free?! It is an assumption that you are able to own a phone, laptop, or television with Internet access to partake in the service, but at least you are not paying a premium for additional channels — unlike television. Networks capitalize on making major money off of content that people want to see, whereas YouTube creators develop their vids at no additional cost, even if their production value goes up.

2

There’s an extensive library of varying categories

If you’re looking for something niche, chances are that you can find it on YouTube. From broad categories like entertainment and music, to more pointed channels like daily vlogging, you are the one that gets to pick and choose what you want to watch. With over 300,000 videos being uploaded a day, you can craft a solid subscription list based off of your preferences.  

3

It’s relatable

Since you’re the captain of your YouTube ship, you get to invest your time into the creators that speak to you the most.

4

Real-time capabilities

If you’re an avid follower of a channel, then you probably follow that person across their multiple social media sites. As soon as a video is live, you get to leave your feedback and interact with them, and if they’re not flooding in comments, chances are that they’ll respond back to you. They’re regular people who started their channel to share with the world, so of course they’re going to want to connect with their viewers. I know that TV shows have tried to have similar experiences by live-tweeting episodes, but it is nowhere near the same thing.

5

It’s a community

I’ve made some friends in different parts of the world through YouTube because we comment on similar videos and continue the dialogue on our own personal social media accounts.

6

Doesn’t feel 100 percent commercialized

This is a bit of a toss up because some channels definitely have paid advertisers behind their videos, but nine out of ten times they’re completely transparent with the brand relationship. Whereas I feel that everything in a TV show is a brand placement or an ad waiting to happen. Typical TV seems inauthentic to me.

7

Encourages creativity

Watching YouTube religiously will make you want to pick up a camera and start doing it, too! It gives you a sense of making the impossible . . . possible. You don’t have to be a professional videographer or a celebrity to upload a video to the site.

8

Quality is not overly produced

Again, this circles back to it being more authentic than a show filmed in a Hollywood lot.

9

Allows you to keep exploring and find new channels/people/creators

You can never get bored. Period.