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Teen Trend Report

Survey Results and Student Writing Contest Submissions:  4,700+ teen and college student visitors, 220+ survey responders, and 75+ essay submissions from teenagers talking about how YouTube impacts our world.

YouTube in our Lives - Writing Contest Results

Best YouTube Videos by Teens

Video gives people a voice. From classrooms to war-torn countries, the Queen of England to the King of Pop, the Pope to the President of the United States, and the hillsides of Port au Prince to the streets of Tehran, video has the power to give rise to the most diverse set of faces and voices ever seen or heard in human history." --Chad Hurley, Founder - YouTube

Background on the YouTube Writing Contest:

Stage of Life asked thousands of high school and college students across the world to share their thoughts on how YouTube impacts their world.

On February 14th, 2005, three PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steven Chen, and Jawed Karim founded YouTube.  YouTube’s "About" page states that it “allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.”

Do you remember a time without YouTube?  Do you remember the first time that you watched or shared a YouTube video? asked its teen bloggers and writers to answer the question, "How has YouTube impacted your world? 

Teen Trend Report Overview:
  • Teen Trend Report about Teenagers and YouTubeVISITS:  Over 4,700 teens and college students visited the writing contest during the month's writing prompt (June - July 2014) from across the US (all 50 states) and dozens of international countries.

  • TEENS and SURVEY DATA:  220+ students between junior high school and college fully completed the national survey about teen usage statistics on YouTube.
  • ESSAY THEMES:  Out of all of the topics discussed, several major themes were collectively revealed by teens and their feelings about YouTube's impact on our world. 
  • Writing contest for high school students

    75+ teen bloggers submitted a qualifying essay to the "How does YouTube impact your world" writing prompt. 
  • ESSAY WINNER:  Place winners, along with Runners Up and finalists were selected. 
  • RESOURCES:  View the YouTube resources we provided for review during the writing contest period.

PART I Statistics about Teenagers and YouTube

Writing Contest - Videos in our LivesBefore submitting their writing contest essay, teens were asked to complete a survey containing some questions about how they use and interact with YouTube.  Here are the teen statistics from the survey from the students who fully completed the poll...
  • 49% of teens have uploaded a video to YouTube.
  • 33% of teens who answered "yes" to uploading a video have submitted just 1 video.  48.7% of teens have uploaded 2-5 videos.
  • 5% of students have uploaded more than 26 videos to YouTube.
  • 77% of teenagers subscribe to a YouTube channel.   For those students that subscribe to a YouTube channel, 1 out of 3 teenagers subscribe to a channel in the "Music" and "Popular on YouTube" channel categories.  The least popular YouTube channel categories for teen subscriptions are "Sports" and "Movies".
  • Why Videos Go Viral63.5% of teenagers watch YouTube daily - with 34% watching multiple times per day.
  • 37.4% of teens have clicked on a YouTube advertisement while watching a video.
  • 64% of teens have shared a YouTube video on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.
  • 1 out of 2 teens primarily watch YouTube to laugh and be entertained with funny content vs. 18.5% who watch primarily to learn new skills or be educated and 31% who watch primarily to stay up to date on the latest music and entertainment from their favorite artists.
    • 75% of teens seek advice through YouTube channels / videos on topics important to their daily lives, e.g. relationships/dating, teen trends, advice on how to do new skills such as creating new hairstyles, etc.
    • 80% of teens have high school teachers or college instructors who use YouTube for educational purposes in the classroom.
    • 20% of teens indicate that YouTube is not used by their teachers (12%) or is not allowed in their school (8%).
    • YouTube in our World82.4% of teenagers have shared a YouTube video with their parents.
    • 27% of teens are "Not Aware" of YouTube's copyright laws.
    • 71% of students say YouTube influences our culture a "great deal" verses less than 1% who say "not at all"
    • 16.6% of teenagers say finding success on YouTube is "very easy" vs. 44.5% who say it's "somewhat easy" and 39% who say it's "not easy at all."
    • 91.4% of teens feel that, overall, YouTube is a "positive" part of our society.
    • What makes certain videos popular or go viral? Answers to this open ended question can be found in Stage of Life's full YouTube and Teen Statistics report.  You can download the statistics report below (click on the PDF document).  Or you can read them by visiting our What Makes Certain Videos Go Viral summary page.
    Statistics about Teens and YouTube usageTo read the full survey results, click the PDF icon to view or save the free download.

    SOURCE:  All statistics above were collected by as part of its monthly teen trend reports containing statistics and writing contest prompt responses from teens on real world issues.


    After taking the survey, students submitted their writing contest essays to  From the qualifying teen essay submissions, several themes emerged:

    Teenagers and YouTubeThemes and Trends from the Essays:  "How does YouTube impact my life?
    • Diversity: YouTube is a melting pot of cultures and people from all around the world. At any given moment, users can search for lessons on the Tagalog language, or peek into life in South Africa, or listen to a trans woman speak about her transition. This representation is important because it helps people figuratively broaden their horizons and learn about the people and cultures from all over the world.
    • Education: Move over Wikipedia—YouTube was highly recommended by these teens for helping them with their homework. Some searches on the site were as simple as current homework exercises; other teens enjoy lectures from university professors about subjects that interest them. With all types of knowledge at their fingertips, these teens never have to stop learning.
    • Entertainment: Teens overwhelmingly agreed that they used the popular video site for fun. Some people love special book recommendation vloggers called “BookTubes”; others are hardcore Nerdfighters; and other teens love watching funny and inspirational people like Tyler Oakley. Chances are that if you have a niche interest, there is a YouTube community for you.
    • Inspiration: These teens found confidence in posting their own videos, or listening to other vloggers speak about their struggles. YouTube helped them get through difficult times in their lives, or make decisions about things they may have always wanted to do. The bottom line is that, for these teens, YouTube is more than just a social media site.

    PART III:  Read the Teenagers YouTube video nominations

    Teen BloggersImmediately below, you'll find links to the winning essay, our runners-up, semi-finalists, and all qualifying essays from college students and teenagers about how YouTube impacts their lives.

    Please take a few moments to read an essay or two, especially our winner, runners-up, and finalists.

    If you have the time, make a comment on the essays you enjoyed the most.  We know the student writers will love hearing your positive input (they'll get an email notifying them if you comment on their writing contest entry).

    Writing contest winnerWriting Contest Winner & Finalists

    First Place:
    YouTube: Exploration, Inspiration, Manifestation, Creation by PHILosophical (This teen can learn about anything at any time) student essay writers2nd Place (Tie): 
    --YouTube: The Future of Democracy is Better Than Cheese Puffs by Stoich91 (People all around the world can watch and learn about each other)
    --YouTube: Through the Looking Glass by Lightheart7 (She can travel the world and learn anything)

    3rd Place:
    YouTube: We Have a Love/Hate Relationship by icybluehue (This teen both loves and hates how much time she spends on the site)

    Writing Contest Runners UpRunners Up (in no particular order)
    YouTube: My Personal Tutor by Giraffy5757 (This teen studied for the Model UN conference)
    YouTube: I Tube, We All Tube for YouTube by Vanner1019 (This teen and some friends posted a “Dare to be Great” challenge)
    YouTube: Everyone’s an Expert at Something by elisakong (People post videos online to be helpful)
    YouTube: Heroes Set on Changing the World by parkman2626 (This teen found confidence)
    YouTube: Good in the World and Reacting to it by wevegotthesedays (This teen loves uplifting videos)
    YouTube: A Crossroad by Brinette (She remembers a particularly haunting video with a cry for help) writing contest submissions

    Read teen essays from national writing contest

    Read All Qualifying Teen & College Essays for the Writing Contest - "How does YouTube impact your life?"

    The essays below were all written by Stage of Life teen writers for this monthly student writing contest...

    Best YouTube Videos - Teen Essays


    1.   YouTube: A Place of Raw Cultural Diversity by riserthinking (Asian people aren’t well represented in American media—but they are on YouTube)

    2.   YouTube: The voice of millions by Kassidy95 (We can peek into all corners of the world with this video site)

    3.   YouTube: A Double Life by Sammi_B (She feels more accepting because of the video site)

    4.   YouTube: My Lifeline by hammcal (This teen had a hard time accepting her sexuality)

    5.   YouTube: The Paradigm of Insightfulness by britatos (YouTube refused to take down a controversial video of a sexual assault)

    6.   YouTube: A Stage for Diversity by Dolly_Yoot (This teen loves peeking into other cultures around the world)

    7.   YouTube: My Home Away From Home by anusha (YouTube holds her past and present)

    8.   YouTube: It’s changed my life by kailynn.rohde (This gay teen found solace in the video site)

    9.   YouTube: A Bright Impact on Society by starstar62 (YouTube couldn’t possibly have a negative effect)

    10.  YouTube: Different Walks of Life by charellelett (Diverse personalities shine on this video site)

    11.  YouTube: The World at Our Fingertips by victoria19 (She loves being so connected to the world)

    12.  YouTube: How Nerdfighteria Made Me Feel Accepted by fortine1106 (She learned to fight for herself)

    13.  YouTube: Connection to My Roots by ychoi8 (This teen loves feeling so close to her culture)

    14.  YouTube: The Future of Democracy is Better Than Cheese Puffs by Stoich91 (People all around the world can watch and learn about each other)

    15.  YouTube: It Makes a Difference by ScarletRivers (The video site has raised awareness for the LGBTQ+ community)



    1.   YouTube: The True Educator by cxl25 (Videos on YouTube helped this teen maintain interest in school)

    2.   YouTube: The Human Brain’s Playground by buglerdude1998 (This teen loves to expand his mind)

    3.   YouTube: Uniting the World by patrick1210 (He watched sports videos to improve his athletic ability)

    4.   YouTube: My Hair’s Rescuer by Niya (This teen loves videos in the health and beauty section)

    5.   YouTube: The Most Important Website Ever? by jaydeng01 (People have entire careers based on YouTube)

    6.   YouTube: BookTubers Changed My Life by KamariAnnamarie (She loves reading books and vlogging about them)

    7.   YouTube: Decorating my life one video at a time by Simonreme (This teen watches lectures to stay up to date on news and classwork)

    8.   YouTube: My Personal Tutor by Giraffy5757 (This teen studied for the Model UN conference)

    9.   YouTube: Rainbow After Rain by nini256 (This teen can learn how to do just about anything)

    10.  YouTube: Is YouTube a Positive Tool to our Society? by babygirl119 (This teen enjoyed watching videos in class)

    11.  YouTube: Exploration, Inspiration, Manifestation, Creation by PHILosophical (This teen can learn about anything at any times)

    12.  YouTube: The Hacks of Life by TeenWriter18 (She loves learning about “life hacks”)

    13.  YouTube: Hope and Bliss by Kofi Akosah (This teen hopes to get into his dream college)

    14.  YouTube: Spreading Knowledge by dkm (This teen loves taking study breaks to learn)

    15.  YouTube: More than just a video by khushboo savita (We can learn a lot from a four minute video)

    16.  YouTube: The reason my parents should be grateful I chose it over drugs. Seriously by Amana626 (She betters herself everyday through the video site)

    17.  YouTube: The Greatest Teacher by ahuebner (YouTube is one of the greatest teachers)



    1.   YouTube: In my life by Spiritone7 (This teen likes watching other people show off their talents)

    2.   YouTube: Funny Videos by painterm (Funny videos show the world has a sense of humor)

    3.   YouTube: Positivity Inspires by kelhon12 (This teen loved watching a man who wanted to get healthy)

    4.   YouTube: In My Life by breenicole (This teen loves the video site for varied reasons)

    5.   YouTube: How it has affected my life by mengamae (She loves watching bloggers play video games and comment on them)

    6.   YouTube: I Tube, We All Tube for YouTube by Vanner1019 (This teen and some friends posted a “Dare to be Great” challenge)

    7.   YouTube: Creating Smiles by Alyssa Colleen (This teen loves watching funny videos)

    8.   YouTube: A Study in the Human Condition by jesusandhislawyers (Humans are fickle, arbitrary, and guilty)

    9.   YouTube: Home by Sara43 (She loves receiving encouragement from other viewers)

    10.  YouTube: From music to Mota—my most inner revelations by Irene_Elizabeth (Anyone can post about anything)

    11.  YouTube: The People’s Voicebox by 2004177 (This teen loves having a place to voice her opinions)

    12.  YouTube: Bigger Than Bieber by paikseungjae (Before YouTube, Psy would have been a Korean entertainer only)

    13.  YouTube: An Online Adventure by rachelll0902 (She loves watching comedy videos)

    14.  YouTube: It Made My AP English Family by wevegotthesedays (YouTube helped turn an uncomfortable class into a fun experience)

    15.  YouTube: We Have a Love/Hate Relationship by icybluehue (This teen both loves and hates how much time she spends on the site)

    16.  YouTube by Jay_sa_lee (People can be rude in comments)

    17.  YouTube: Virtual Happiness by Arden Beth (This videos on this site can always cheer this teen up)

    18.  YouTube by TayLuvsBooks (She loves cracking a smile)

    19.  YouTube: Egoist by Tanssia (This teen was touched by an angelic voice)

    20.  YouTube: Impact on Our Lives by shahzaibzakagujjar (This teen likes watching Epic Rap Battles in History)

    21.  YouTube: A Midsummer Night’s Tale by c2bsb (Prose in second person about procrastinating homework)

    22.  YouTube: Does It Have Too Much Power? by Lanilynn99 (This teen is concerned about dangerous challenge videos)

    23.  YouTube: Where did my grades go? by Chesswhiz317 (YouTube isn’t quite as bad as people think)

    24.  YouTube: Exclusively For All by mamaruu (This teen is both a viewer and uploader)

    25.  YouTube: Videos of Concord or the Opposite? by mamaruu (YouTube can be dangerous if used too often)

    26.  YouTube: A Masquerade Mask by mahimaie (Even YouTubers wear a mask to feel confident)

    27.  YouTube: My Favorite Way to Waste the Day by rockstarme3 (This teen loves keeping up with her subs)

    28.  YouTube: A Catalyst of Sorts by Wonderwelle (She loved being challenged to create interesting videos that told a story)

    29.  YouTube: Everyone’s an Expert at Something by elisakong (People post videos online to be helpful)

    30.  YouTube: It’s just business, yo by Amana626 (People are held responsible for their actions, even online)

    31.  YouTube: Through the Looking Glass by Lightheart7 (She can travel the world and learn anything)

    32.  YouTube: Feeding My Passion for Film by ggoldfeder (This teen loves watching movie trailers and reviews)



    1.    YouTube: From Zero to Millions by icha (This teen loves watching K-pop videos)

    2.    YouTube: Popularity by goats (You can find a little bit of everything on YouTube)

    3.    YouTube: Making My Way Through Life With Glowing Fairy Jars by purplegiraffe19 (YouTube has introduced a new kind of celebrity)

    4.    YouTube: Confidence in Myself by peachpoise (This teen found confidence by posting videos of herself)

    5.    YouTube: Thanks for making me a fighter by mushka841 (A song helped this teen through a tough time)

    6.    YouTube: Heroes Set on Changing the World by parkman2626 (This teen found confidence)

    7.    YouTube: New Impacts and Influences in the World by Anna2712 (YouTube allows people to travel the world)

    8.    YouTube: Good in the World and Reacting to it by wevegotthesedays (This teen loves uplifting videos)

    9.    YouTube: The Bull Ring by gvachon (She was inspired to get her septum pierced)

    10.  YouTube: Teaching Me to Feel Things and Follow My Dreams by déjà_jenae (The video site gives people a chance to follow their dreams)

    11.  YouTube: It all starts with a camera by dijahtarr94 (These teen loves music playlists)

    12.  YouTube: Making the world better by misskaylabayla (She is proud to be a Nerdfighter)

    13.  YouTube: A Part of My Family by sara2527 (YouTube has always been there for this teen)

    14.  YouTube: A Crossroad by Brinette (She remembers a particularly haunting video with a cry for help)

    YouTube Educational Resources

    The following resources were provided for the students during this month's writing contest about teenagers and how YouTube impacts our world...

    Education Sponsors

    Education writing sponsor - IHOP

    Education essay sponsor - Papa John's

    Writing Contest Prize Package
    • The student (high school or college) who writes the 1st place essay receives gift cards compliments of our education sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP
    • SWAG package from
    • National press release exposure for your essay from
    • Bragging rights

    Please thank our sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP, for supporting the writing and literacy efforts on

    Writing Contest
    Resource Links

    Videos about YouTube

    “Why Videos Go Viral”

    Why Videos Go Viral

    Ted Talk by Kevin Allocca about “Why Videos Go Viral.”

    Inspirational Videos

    Inspirational Videos

    Check out's hand picked selection of inspirational videos for students and teachers.

    "Rosanna Pansino, Michelle Phan, Bethany Mota Share Secrets to YouTube Success"

      How to create a successful YouTube channel tutorial from three top YouTube celebrities.

    "Me at the zoo"

      The very first ever video posted on YouTube by one of the 3 creators (at the zoo).

    Articles about YouTube

    How YouTube has Changed the World Forever” from the Irish Examiner.  Includes great videos to highlight important insights about the YouTube phenomena

    Five Ways YouTube has Changed the World” from Social Times

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              Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

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