With QAnon conspiracies and radical disinformation abounding, it's easy to forget that the internet began as a technology to help democratize information and empower individuals.
Putting those evil echo chambers on the shelf for just a moment, it can be illuminating to take stock of what global, digital connection has created.
Crowdsourcing allows multiple perspectives and experts to gather in an instant and collaborate. Similarly, well-meaning folks can pool money to help good causes overnight.
People of all ages can express themselves with videos and blogs, honing their musical, poetic, and visual voices.
And, of course, there is so much knowledge. Encyclopedias and tutorials are everywhere you look. It's actually amazing that so many people took the time to teach the viewers they'll never meet, or even see.
But alas, those tutorials have saved more people in a pinch than we could ever count.
Many people find themselves against the ropes with a product or tool so specific that seems like it takes a pilot's license to work with.
Luckily, the internet is a numbers game. And with so many people out there making videos, there's bound to be at least one person who took the time to explain that tool, that model, from that year, and all for free.
Boiler Back Online
"Some dude explaining how to fix my obscure brand of hot water boiler."
"The manual exists nowhere online, nowhere sells it anywhere, but there are gods among men out there who make YouTube tutorials all the same."
Saving Cash, Saving Clothes
"I was able to take apart my dryer to replace the belt with a YouTube video of the exact brand" -- _Goose_
"I just did the same thing a month ago. It was tough but $30 in parts and two hours of labor saved me well over $100." -- chrissoindie
A Long History of Time and Money Saved
"That's a hard question to answer for me. It's going to be a mix of videos on various car and appliance repairs."
"A quick peek at Google/YouTube for how-tos have saved me several thousand dollars over the years by showing me how to fix a problem that I'd otherwise have had to use an auto shop or appliance center to fix."
"I try to always throw them a $5 or $10 tip as thanks when I can find donation or Patreon info as thanks, but not all of them have ways to donate.
"Giving a few hundred dollars in thank-you tips over the years is far better than thousands of dollars it would have otherwise cost."
One Screen to Another
"Lived in a rental house where my lease said that we were responsible for the window screens, including replacing them if needed. A bunch were broken or falling out of the frames."
"The move-out paperwork said every broken screen would cost $60."
"Found a YouTube tutorial with links to cheap supplies and really well-done directions. Saved hundreds of dollars and it was super easy."
For others, it's all about the hair.
Few things are more important than a person's look. Style never takes a back seat. So you can rest assured that plenty of people have made videos to express their own choices and teach a little in the process.
There When He Needed It
"Way way back in the day... how to style men's hair... as a trans man it means to much to open a video and have a guy talk to you like a man and say things like 'you got this man' or 'now you're looking sharp man' and stupid things like saying bro and handsome."
"Sometimes I'd open one just to feel validated. 10/10 highly recommend for the dysphoric."
"Cutting your own hair tutorials. Lifesaver through lockdown" -- JistHaudOanAMinute
"Lol, my husband has not cut his hair since before lockdown. His hair is now longer than mine." -- donttouchmycupcake
"Should have watched that before shaving my head and i might have realized beforehand that 6mm is really short, lol" -- xMoonbreaker
Many people owe their understanding of basic life skills to Youtube. Sure our parents teach us some of the big ones, but there are so many things to tackle throughout a lifetime that we could never rely on one or two people to cover them all.
Thankfully, complete strangers help take on the chaotic world.
Whichever the Animals, You'll Need It, Gents
"How to tie a tie" -- Ayush189
"I had seen a couple. It wasn't until watching the show Dexter that it finally clicked for me. Something about a rabbit jumping over a log." -- payokat
"I had to watch one of those videos when I was late for school. Phew!" -- Trex1873
Getting More Miles on Your Pants
"How to hand sew a zigzag stitch (which is what lets stitching stretch with a fabric so they dont just break). It took me way to long because all the tutorials I found were for how to hit the zigzag stitch button on a sewing machine. Smh"
"How to put on duvet covers by folding it like a burrito... been using it for years now" -- rcclee
"How to put a king size duvet back into the cover without a second person. Not much but my god it removed a source of fury from my life" -- Mischief_Makers
Ya Never Know
"Artificial insemination of Bulldog"
"Don't judge me. It was 3am in the morning. Learnt a lot that night."
Keep Those Wheels Movin'
"How to check and fill a tire. Not that I was never taught that, but since all knowledge escapes me in panic mode it got me out of a pinch." -- kannakantplay
"Any bike-related stuff on Park Tool. I'm a beginner cyclist and their vids are logical and straightforward." -- WowIsLoveWowIsLife
Joining Contemporary Life
"genuinely taking a screenshot."
"before being inside 24/7/365 (almost yay), I had the tech skills of a dead Amish animal and since I've made a Reddit account, I've been making memes by having a blank template and putting words on it using PowerPoint and screenshotting it..."
"...then posting it to Reddit on various meme Subreddits. being a no-life has let me to amass a high volume of a useless internet points in a relatively short amount of time and it's great"
"How to make oat milk - basic af but saves me a lot of money as oat milk is expensive in Australia y'all." -- donttouchmycupcake
"Recently watched a video where a women soaks her oats in amalayse first so it's not like slimy and one other person suggested freezing oats first. If I get it perfect I'll definitely start making my own again" -- laz0rtears
Up Your Dinner Party Game
"How to use a chefs knife correctly and how to even find the best knife that fits your personal style and preferences."
"Changed me and my cooking skills forever and saved me tons of time. Also made my cooking much more safe."
"The problem with most of these skills is that people don't even know what their missing"
Youtube: the Eternally Patient Teacher
"For me it was how to drive a manual."
"I hadn't learned and I was in my 30s. I tried having people teach me in person. No luck and usually just frustration on all ends (telling someone to shift when it feels right doesn't always work)."
"Watched a few videos and, more or less, got in and took off."
Resorting to Your Own Devices
"Khan Academy tutorials."
"We had an absolute shi**y teacher in our microeconomics course... the kind that stopped keeping touch with academics long ago and just teaches for the sake of it. The classes turned more pathetic online."
"She would literally just read out the slides, no explanations, nothing, couldn't give a satisfactory answers to the class's questions either. The micro tutorials of khan academy saved my grade and sanity. God bless that channel."
So next time you ever wonder how to do anything, have some confidence that at least one other person out there encountered exactly that difficulty.
The question becomes obvious: did they make a video about that?
If they didn't, maybe it's your turn.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Cosmetic Brand's Founder Cuts Ties With His Own Sister Over Her Transphobic Remarks About YouTuber Nikkie De Jager
Nikkie de Jager, better known as makeup YouTuber NikkieTutorials, recently came out as a trans woman via a video on her YouTube channel.
Nikkie was being blackmailed by someone who wanted to leak her story to the media, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and tell the world herself.
Nikkie bared her soul to her fans in the 17-minute video.
"Today I am here to share something with you that I've always wanted to share with you one day, but under my own circumstances. And it looks like that chance has been taken away from me. So today I am taking back my own power."
Many of Nikkie's fans were extremely supportive of her coming out, even though the circumstances forced her to share her truth before she was ready.
@NikkieTutorials Oh my god 😭 I love you so much. Grew up watching you. Thank you for sharing this. ❤️— Stef Sanjati 🍞 (@Stef Sanjati 🍞)1578947132.0
Me finding out nikkietutorials is trans and then me finding out someone tried to blackmail her into coming out https://t.co/lvj0vBBlSs— ❄ Local Plague Dr ❄ (@❄ Local Plague Dr ❄)1579005155.0
@NikkieTutorials I'm so proud of you honey💕💕 en een dikke middelvinger naar die blackmailers https://t.co/81bVoq4sdZ— katja³⁶⁵ ˡ ⁷ (@katja³⁶⁵ ˡ ⁷)1578946305.0
Even after de Jager's heartfelt coming out video, there were still some people who thought it would be a good idea to be transphobic and poke fun at her.
Among these was the sister of cosmetics company Too Faced founder Jerrod Blandino, who also worked for the company.
The post, made from an account where she uses the name Dani California, drew instant ire and criticism from internet users—along with a call to boycott the brand.
I will never EVER support too faced. https://t.co/lN0sM6wItx— literallylewis2.0 - ig 🌈 (@literallylewis2.0 - ig 🌈)1578970593.0
She quickly attempted to backtrack after her bigotry was noticed, but to no avail.
@dropdeadlewis She changed her bio at least five times since that screenshot was taken. This is what is written now… https://t.co/msaeEOGADv— ℕ𝕚𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕒 (@ℕ𝕚𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕒)1578992540.0
Jerrod soon released a statement, via the company's Twitter account, condemning his sister's actions and saying that she had been fired from her work at Too Faced.
"I do not tolerate this behavior, and she is no longer an employee of Too Faced. I would like to say how proud I am of Nikkie Tutorials, and how inspired I am for her strength and sharing her beautiful truth with the world. I am sending all my love to her."
A message from Our Founder Jerrod Blandino https://t.co/OdnCT67INK— Too Faced Cosmetics (@Too Faced Cosmetics)1579030654.0
Even after Jerrod's apology, many people pointed to a long history of problematic actions as a reason to avoid the company.
@TooFaced Hm... Feels like you only apologized bc people are pissed 🤦🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️ this brand has always been so rude t… https://t.co/SQma2OoMQj— 🖤Skye🖤 (@🖤Skye🖤)1579031007.0
@TooFaced Does he really expect us to believe she is off the payroll? She may have lost her title but I suspect tha… https://t.co/MwYlfSeSXa— Stacy (@Stacy)1579058437.0
@TooFaced Too late. Lisa publically bullied Nikkie for ages and you guys did nothing about it, while she was the vi… https://t.co/qJuWy95PEf— Shining --- ☆★☆ (@Shining --- ☆★☆)1579035066.0
Many folks on Twitter pointed out that this isn't the first time Blandino's sister has posted hurtful, bigoted things on social media.
@TooFaced She should’ve been let go ages ago, she’s been this way and it’s left a bad taste in people’s mouths for… https://t.co/NsqV3k3opG— positiviᵗᵉᵃ (@positiviᵗᵉᵃ)1579031625.0
@TooFaced @TeaSpillYT Glad to see this - sad to see she wasn’t fired when she made racist comments to someone on behalf of TF— Jaclyn Hills Lab Exposed (@Jaclyn Hills Lab Exposed)1579031615.0
@TooFaced Still makes me sick how awful your sister has been. Going on a bullying spree and representing you and the brand. She’s unhinged— JustAGirlInTheWorld (@JustAGirlInTheWorld)1579033283.0
@TooFaced Lisa has been mouthing off on Instagram for a while now regarding Nikkie and others so I’m glad the right thing was finally done.— DramaLynn (@DramaLynn)1579031844.0
@dropdeadlewis @TooFaced @NikkieTutorials @RichLux713 Update: Jerrod Blandino left a message on his Instagram apolo… https://t.co/JftD91YMZE— SpiceyNanaSim (@SpiceyNanaSim)1579051480.0
While his sister's termination and public chastisement were definitely warranted, many makeup fans—both those who are fans of Nikkie and those who just won't tolerate bigotry in the industry—are still questioning whether Jerrod's actions were enough.
Her hurtful comments about de Jager in an especially vulnerable time were completely unacceptable to fans, and part of a pattern of behavior that had not been addressed until now.
A beach full of people at Saugatuck Dunes State Park in Michigan got an unlikely surprise over 4th of July weekend when a deer decided to join in the fun.
According to witnesses, the brazen deer just casually sauntered over a sand dune and down to the water's edge to take a dip in Lake Michigan on a hot summer's day like everybody else on the beach.
Deer are often adventurous when it comes to wandering into areas populated by people, but this deer took it to the next level.
Stunned families soon pulled out their phones to capture photos and videos of their new beach buddy as he went about his business.
Deer enjoys a day at the beach on Lake Michigan www.youtube.com
And just to show the ultimate chill, the deer even went over to a young girl sitting in a beach chair nearby and started licking her leg, much to her surprise and delight.
The young buck even let people close enough to pet it and play with it (although neither is recommended).
Metro Detroit family joined by friendly deer while vacationing in Saugatuck over the holiday weekend. https://t.co/DhDDClbwkR— WXYZ Detroit (@WXYZ Detroit)1562630265.0
Only in Michigan! 🦌🏖 Detroit mom Kathleen Kennedy Ferris captured this video of her kids playing with a deer on a… https://t.co/jZhu41TXyL— Detroit Free Press (@Detroit Free Press)1562674085.0
The deer reportedly stuck around the beach for roughly 30 minutes before calling it a day.
But he certainly made an impression on social media.
@6abc That is So AWESOME 🤗 WOW— Mrs. James (@Mrs. James)1562679554.0
@6abc Ha! This so cool— Chef Val (@Chef Val)1562642371.0
@MLive Deer wants to know why y'all at his beach? Also... where are the snacks?— sekhmara (@sekhmara)1562596632.0
The deer apparently has become a regular, with the locals naming him "Jim."
@Cardina1_Girl @Robb_R9 @MLive Apparently he’s been coming down regularly and he has been named “Jim.”— Oceana Lizard (@Oceana Lizard)1562633726.0
@MLive Quick! Someone get my man a bud light! 🍺 #DeersGetThirstyToo— Mark E King (@Mark E King)1562619646.0
@SHSTrackandXC @freep Yeah that is Jimmy!— SaugatuckTrack&Field (@SaugatuckTrack&Field)1562690295.0
@freep He’s a regular in the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and @feltmansion area over here...he’s hangin’ here with th… https://t.co/zTdwrNGRrW— Cory LaLonde (@Cory LaLonde)1562695966.0
Of course there were also those who were skeptical of Jimmy's health, with many wondering if the deer is suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a disease similar to Mad Cow Disease that affects the brains of deer and elk.
@MLive Any deer acting this irrationally and as thin as that, I would suspect CWD.— jwrwork (@jwrwork)1562617982.0
@MLive Sadly, the first thing that came to mind was the animal is suffering from CWD. Some symptoms include lack of… https://t.co/vBTo0uvj5g— Dennis (@Dennis)1562675421.0
The Michigan DNR said they would be keeping tabs on the deer for the time being, and issued a warning to the public, saying:
"At this time, we plan to monitor the situation with the deer. Should it begin to exhibit aggressive behavior, we would consider immobilizing and relocating the deer. We ask that park visitors refrain from feeding or approaching the deer as this is a wild animal that could act unpredictably."
Deer can carry ticks with illnesses like Lyme disease that pose a serious threat to humans, so if you encounter a deer in the wild it's probably best to just let it do its thing.
With his complete lack of fear of humans, it's unclear what Jimmy's future will entail, but he certainly gave the internet something to smile about.
We Can't Help But Love This Young Internet Legend Who Memorized Some Random Ribbon Dance From YouTube
An aspiring young ribbon dancer impressed his sister Tori Crosby from St. George, Utah, so much she had to share him with the world.
She filmed her brother twirling around his makeshift dancing arena, painting the atmosphere with two "ribbons" trailing his every move.
The pre-teen had learned the routine from a YouTube clip, which you can see simultaneously streaming from the sister's iPad in her lap.
But his coordination is surpassing expectations because of his ability to overcome physical odds.
Tori posted the video on Twitter, describing her instant reaction to her brother's skills.
"my brother started doing a ribbon dance and i looked down at the ipad and was shook lmao."
my brother started doing a ribbon dance and i looked down at the ipad and was shook lmao https://t.co/JsoO1Ckiop— tori crosby (@tori crosby)1561345351.0
The proud sister mentioned in a followup tweet that her brother has cerebral palsy and constantly amazes the family with his talents.
the cool thing about this is he has cerebal palsy and is in special ed and outside programs to help with his brain… https://t.co/gqNqtZ5ahd— tori crosby (@tori crosby)1561421538.0
The kid's charisma is infectious.
Crosby couldn't resist sharing another adorable clip of him dancing along to "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" from Disney's Lilo & Stitch soundtrack.
but for real how could u not love him?? https://t.co/flaqQtCvc5— tori crosby (@tori crosby)1561527245.0
He is stealing hearts on the internet.
@victoriacrosby_ @MaryCro81874082 Ugh, so graceful 😩😭😭😭 I love it!!!— Jasmyn (@Jasmyn)1561531011.0
@victoriacrosby_ He is very very intelligent. He is blessed 🙏🏼— blackKiddblack (@blackKiddblack)1561551103.0
@victoriacrosby_ dude!!!!!! perfect form, perfect style, perfect everything!!!!!!!!! i already stan— 🌈 angela (@🌈 angela)1561462904.0
A trade secret is revealed.
@victoriacrosby_ @RickyShucks is that toilet paper— 梁 (@梁)1561426644.0
@nicholasleung16 @RickyShucks yes 😂 he lays it out on the ground and measures it until it’s perfect. we got him rib… https://t.co/dUwh1gmN9o— tori crosby (@tori crosby)1561427524.0
Crosby's tweet went viral, with over 633k likes.
His online fame also inspired others to share their stories.
@victoriacrosby_ My little brother had cerebral palsy and was completely wheelchair bound. This is so beautiful and… https://t.co/IzNA1pVohx— My Bald is Better (@My Bald is Better)1561435090.0
@Baldisbetter @victoriacrosby_ I believe in the process of losing one ability you are blessed with another. It hap… https://t.co/EauvON6iwC— Grace Under Fyah (@Grace Under Fyah)1561489162.0
@victoriacrosby_ Awesome, so glad to see that he is not letting CP take over what he believes he can do, I have cer… https://t.co/boBkOBBK30— poetry love (@poetry love)1561496905.0
People with various disorders are proving they are capable of so much more than some assume.
@victoriacrosby_ A lot of the kids I teach in my Spec Ed classes are nonverbal and can memorize complex instruction… https://t.co/p1K7knyKPM— sadie sadie dissident lady🌈 (@sadie sadie dissident lady🌈)1561483737.0
@victoriacrosby_ Ughh I swear these kids are so amazing🥺💕 crazy how quickly they pick up & mimic certain things. My… https://t.co/F2PqXVxXG0— LaCienega ✨ (@LaCienega ✨)1561475572.0
@victoriacrosby_ My daughter has Autism and is non verbal she listens to the same few songs on YouTube and can sing… https://t.co/yitWpvRja8— KC the goddess (@KC the goddess)1561467657.0
@victoriacrosby_ I’ve honestly seen some of the most talented people I’ve ever seen in special ed tbh— Meech (@Meech)1561437657.0
@victoriacrosby_ My grandad has CP& is a literal maths genius. Having a disability stops absolutely no one! Hope so… https://t.co/8hVwXUp03b— tyra (@tyra)1561479880.0
Having cerebral palsy doesn't mean they behave any differently than their siblings.
@victoriacrosby_ My little brother has cerebral palsy also! Totally doesn't stop him from being a pain in my ass though— lina ♡ kookie (@lina ♡ kookie)1561461702.0
Mom gets a shout out here.
@RickyShucks @victoriacrosby_ @nicholasleung16 I appreciate this video and your brother in all its beauty. He’s ama… https://t.co/v9d89Fu526— Carly (@Carly)1561476987.0
@victoriacrosby_ @lovelymari_1 Somebody gettin disciplined in the background— 🌻Boobii🌹 (@🌻Boobii🌹)1561434785.0
The kid continues earning perfect 10s across the board.
@victoriacrosby_ @ashleighhmc love seeing things like this, makes my cyc heart happy— em (@em)1561493424.0
@victoriacrosby_ I’m going to cry😭😭😭😭I’m so proud of him— Queen Seph (@Queen Seph)1561504981.0
@victoriacrosby_ Best thing I’ve seen all day. Thanks for sharing how your brother adds light to your life as this added light to mine. 💜— Child of the Vault (@Child of the Vault)1561514713.0
@victoriacrosby_ REAL TEARS!!! 😭— catina (@catina)1561506908.0
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that impairs one's physical mobility and affects the ability to maintain balance and posture.
CP is caused during brain development or by brain injuries in infancy and is a common motor disability in childhood.
Depending on which areas of the brain are affected, one or more of the following movement disorders can occur: stiff muscles (spasticity), uncontrollable movements (dyskinesia), and poor balance and coordination (ataxia).
The organization aims to fund for the most "promising research projects for cerebral palsy" in the U.S. and helps support CP Registers and Surveillance Programs.
News recently broke that the Trump administration had contacted its embassies around the world and banned them from flying rainbow flags in honor of PRIDE month, prompting swift backlash from LGBTQ individuals and their allies online.
Of all the people to defy the White House's decision, however, YouTuber Elijah Daniel may have made the most dramatic gesture.
Vice President Mike Pence confirmed reports that American embassies had been banned from flying the pride flag on t… https://t.co/AWq9VMdTSb— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY)1560258900.0
In response to the President's mandate, Elijah Daniel straight up bought the town of Hell, Michigan and renamed it Gay Hell, Michigan.
ahead of pride month Trump’s administration put a ban on embassy’s flying pride flags. so as of today, I am now t… https://t.co/bcbxos4C2r— elijah daniel (@elijah daniel)1560801839.0
Gay Hell, Michigan (formerly Hell, Michigan) is a real town in Michigan occupied by 70 people and taking up about 5 acres of land.
It was listed for purchase for $900,000, which apparently seemed like a great price to Daniel.
Don't believe it? Elijah took pictures as evidence of his new purchase.
This isn't the first time Elijah has found himself in charge of Hell.
He previously became mayor of the town for a brief period of time.
As of today, August 30th, 2017 I am the legal mayor of Hell, Michigan. This is real. I am the mayor of Hell. https://t.co/J7fuaLnFKV— elijah daniel (@elijah daniel)1504120643.0
@MikelleStreet @elijahdaniel He was mayor, then impeached. Now he bought the whole thing.— Alexander Chee (@Alexander Chee)1560813639.0
Elijah can't wait to spread the word about Gay Hell.
His first order of business?
Ban all flags EXCEPT for rainbow PRIDE flags.
Gay Hell, Mi has everything. A library, a place to lock your love in Gay Hell, and even a WEDDING CHAPEL TO GET GAY… https://t.co/QtL3KgxfC2— elijah daniel (@elijah daniel)1560801942.0
@elijahdaniel @missmayn this guy gets it https://t.co/DFDAOAWXJ0— shauna (@shauna)1560804398.0
People were amazed at the lengths Elijah went to to make a point.
@elijahdaniel i need to book my flight for the hellfyre festival NOW— 💔 (@💔)1560802883.0
@elijahdaniel the absolute power of this wow— Maxx Danziger ⧖ (@Maxx Danziger ⧖)1560807747.0
@elijahdaniel Truly in awe of you.— Alexander Chee (@Alexander Chee)1560812538.0
A lot of Twitter users were packing their bags and getting ready to move to Gay Hell.
@elijahdaniel suddenly i’m moving— Jessie Paege (@Jessie Paege)1560831090.0
@elijahdaniel literally hiring movers as i type out this tweet see u soon— Scott Hoying (@Scott Hoying)1560809956.0
@elijahdaniel Art.— Art Or Not Art (@Art Or Not Art)1560814619.0
Of course, the only person whose opinion of Gay Hell really mattered gave the town his approval!
@elijahdaniel @captainkalvis I approve of gay Hell— Satan (@Satan)1560804312.0
@elijahdaniel This is going to stroke a real eruption in tourism. People will be coming for days, weeks even.— The Church Of Satan (@The Church Of Satan)1560816153.0
The implications of having Gay Hell right here on Earth could be far-reaching and profound...
@elijahdaniel If Mike Pence steps foot in this glorious town he spontaneously combusts.— Adam Best (@Adam Best)1560809751.0
If this doesn't send a message to the White House, nothing will.
@elijahdaniel This is soooooo good— andy lassner (@andy lassner)1560814408.0
Someday, we'll all look back on Gay Hell, Michigan and question whether it really happened.
But it did.
It really really did.
@elijahdaniel I can confirm that this actually happened— SAM F / DR WOKE (@SAM F / DR WOKE)1560802483.0
If you want to send your own message, you can display your PRIDE for one low price and get a "3 x 5 Feet Gay Pride Rainbow Flag with 10 Pack Pride mini Flags on sticks," available here.
RESIST Pride Live! teeHEARSAY/by NIHLO