Doctors and nurses have always let off steam privately — but what happens when you do it to 1.5 billion people?

Image: Owen Beard/Unsplash

On the evening of 3 January, 27-year-old receptionist Hannah Nicks began experiencing a tightness in her chest and pain in her left arm. She describes feeling as though her “rib cage was shrinking”, leaving her unable to breathe. The North Carolinian was afraid and considered going to her local hospital to get checked out, but decided against it when she recalled a TikTok she’d seen days earlier.

In the video, a University of Antigua medical student mocked patients for coming into hospital with chest pain. Over the course of 19 seconds, student Mursal Sekandari rolled her eyes at a pretend…


For Tom Mills, losing his wife Andrea was devastating. His YouTube audience helped him through the process

Image: The Mills Family

Moments after his wife of 20 years passed away in a hospice close to the Wyoming home where she raised nine children, Tom Mills turned on his camera and started a YouTube live stream. “Andrea’s passed away,” Mills said before panning the camera around his grieving family and thanking his viewers for their prayers. The two-minute video ends with a two-second shot of Andrea’s body lying peacefully on a hospital bed.

Andrea Mills started her YouTube channel in October 2014 as a place to document life as a religious family of 11. She shared organisational tips, vlogs of her home-schooling…


Life comes at you fast, especially when you have 500 hours of video to watch every minute

Image: Shutterstock/YouTube

One recent Sunday, I watched an eclectic mix of YouTube videos that arguably had nothing at all in common. I watched an American man review a microwaved fried chicken and mashed potato meal; an artist paint a watercolour based on the 100th page of a book; a young woman unbox a Disney-themed subscription box; and Gordon Ramsay try The WORST Ever Dishes on Kitchen Nightmares.

Yet while my content choice was varied, my viewing experience wasn’t. …


Photo: Florian Weichelt/Unsplash, edited by Chris Stokel-Walker

Portrayed as brats on ‘structured reality’ shows, former reality TV kids are changing the narrative on YouTube

In January 2012, two million Americans watched 14-year-old Payton Ackerman turn into a villain. Looking cherubic with her sleek brunette hair securely scraped back and adorned with a white bow, in an instant Payton’s bright red lips formed into a grimace as she argued with her dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller, on Lifetime’s Dance Moms.

“I thought I was better than most of the people,” the teenager declared, seemingly insulting her fellow stars on the reality TV show, which follows young dancers as they compete for prizes. The audience turned on the teen — and they didn’t forget. …

Amelia Tait

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