If I asked you to describe a typical YouTube star, what would you say? Perhaps you would describe a 22-year-old guy from Sweden with blue hair who yells at the camera for 7 minutes at a time. Or, maybe you would talk about the many talented young musicians, including Justin Bieber and Tori Kelly, who have been discovered on YouTube.

While it’s true that most of the YouTube stars today are young, outgoing and memorable, I want to argue that there is a huge segment of the population that YouTube needs to see more of – people in their 50s, 60s and better.

Let’s explore the X reasons that we need more 50+ YouTube stars. If just one older adult decides to start a YouTube channel based on this article, I would be so happy! If this person is you, please let us know in the comments!

 
 

Our Generation Has Valuable Practical Advice to Share

Over the last few years, I’ve been growing my own presence on YouTube. As of the writing of this article, my channel, Sixty and Me, has around 20,000 subscribers and we are adding 2,000 new people every month.

During this time, I have come to realize that people come to YouTube primarily for two reasons – entertainment and education. It is the second of these two needs that I feel strongly our generation can fill.

By the time we reach our 50s and 60s, we have tried plenty of things. We have had time to explore our passions and develop our skills. Maybe it’s time to share them with the world!

Don’t think that anyone cares about your passions? Consider the following:

Have a passion for roses? Here is a video with 10 tips for growing roses with 850,000+ views.

Love woodworking? Here is a video with tips for reclaiming pallets and barn wood with 660,000+ views.

Spend your evenings knitting? Here is a video for helping beginning knitters with 2,500,000+ views.

I could go on and on here, but, trust me when I say that, no matter what you are passionate about, there is a large audience of people who wants to hear from you.

What is your passion? Have you been collecting stamps for 20 years? Do you love looking for treasures in yard sales? Did you work as an art appraiser during your career? Are you a retired child psychologist with parenting tips to share? Do you weave baskets? Love fishing?

Why not share your passions with the world?

We Have the Time to Share Our Passions

While not universally true, people over 50 tend to have more time to share than parents and young workers.

Yes, it is true that any of the YouTubers out there launch their channels when they are living at home and, quite literally, have nothing better to do. But, if you think about it, in terms of free time, older adults are a close second.

Even if you are still working, which many of us are, the fact that your kids have left the house gives you the time and flexibility you need to start sharing your passions with the world.

Best of all, since you will be sharing what you are already passionate about, you won’t be sacrificing your time… you will be enhancing it! Plus, you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you are making the world a better place, one view at a time!

We Need a Sense of Purpose

Since starting Sixty and Me, I have talked with literally thousands of baby boomer women. Some of these conversations have happened online, but, I have also bumped into people in temples, yoga classes, cafes and art museums.

Through these conversations, I have tried to understand what people over 50 really need. Other than the obvious (and somewhat lazy) answer of “more money,” what would make us happier as we enter the “best years of our lives?”

The conclusion that I have come to is that the one thing that most people in their 50s, 60s and better need is a sense of purpose.

With our kids out of the house, many of us are struggling to redefine our social lives. With our careers slowing down, or ending entirely, most of us are looking for a mission to replace the sense of purpose that we found at work.

Sharing your skills, wisdom and passions on YouTube is a great way to reconnect with the world. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have people tell you that you have made a difference in their lives. Plus, when you post on a specific topic, like gardening or fishing, you are instantly transported into a world that is filled with people who love the same things that you do. It really is a win-win!

Aging Stereotypes Won’t Be Cured Through Conversation… But, Through Action

While it may be controversial to say this, I don’t believe that we can talk our way out of ageism. Yes, the rights of older workers should be protected by the law. Yes, we should stand up to people who discriminate against us? But, on the whole, the cultural stereotypes that pervade society can only be countered with positive examples.

Since the mainstream media has such a strong youth bias, it is up to us to build our own media. When a TV shows older adults as slow, forgetful and afraid of technology, society’s negative stereotypes are reinforced.

On the other hand, when a 67-year-old retired carpenter from Chicago demonstrates how to build a real treehouse or create unique wooden toys, these negative stereotypes are, to a certain extent, challenged and even rolled back.

What is Preventing You from Starting a YouTube Channel?

In a future post, I will address some of the more common concerns that older adults have about starting a YouTube channel. For now, let me just say that all you need to get started is a modern phone and something to talk about. If you are interested in finding out just how easy it is to get started with YouTube, check out their official support page.

What skill or passion would you like to share with the world? Do you agree or disagree that the best way for us to fight aging stereotypes is to provide positive counter examples? Please join the conversation!

Let's Have a Conversation!