Introducing Plugged In YouTube Channel Reviews

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Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Back to 2005—not really that long ago, really. But in February of that year, YouTube launched its video-hosting services. It was originally envisioned as something of a dating video site. But it wasn’t long before people began uploading free videos of all sorts of things.

Fifteen years later, some two billion users watch YouTube’s constantly expanding video library every day. Among its most ardent users are tween and teen boys. In fact, studies show that they spend more time in this entertainment arena than any other—including video games.

What started as a simple idea 15 years ago has become a content colossus. Not only did it create an entirely new way to interact with user-generated content, it’s launched the careers of entertainers like Justin Bieber and PewDiePie.

What’s that, you say? Who’s PewDiePie? Ah, that brings me to the reason I’m writing today.

PewDiePie is—depending on which metrics you use—the first or second most popular content creator on YouTube. But he’s not necessarily a household name if you’re not pretty plugged in to the YouTube zeitgeist.

That’s why Plugged In is now reviewing YouTube channels. We want to help you have a sense of what you might expect to find in the videos of the site’s most popular and influential content contributors.

We realize there are limitations, of course. Someone like PewDiePie has posted literally thousands of videos. We’re not going to view them all. Rather, we’ll take a look at a sampling of videos from each channel that we focus on. Our goal is to give you a representative glimpse—not a complete list—of the kinds of content issues you (or you child) might expect to encounter.

Likewise, there are thousands—probably tens of thousands—of popular YouTubers out there. We won’t be able to cover them all. But we’ll do our best to identify and review those who are making waves, making news and making content that we think your family needs to know about.

On that note, we’d love to hear from you regarding which YouTubers you’d like us to review. Who are your kids into? Whose videos do you have questions about? Let us know below!

And be sure to check out our first batch of reviews—a collection that will be growing each week as we zero in on the YouTubers whose content is shaping the hearts and minds of kids growing up today. 

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

30 Responses

  1. -I think reviewing YouTube channels is a great addition to the categories that you guys review! I see a lot of people who turn to YouTube for entertainment, and there’s definitely a lot of options for people to choose from!

    A few channels I would recommend you guys check out for reviewing would be:

    -Scott the Woz
    -Lucas the Spider
    -anthpo
    -HISHE
    -Grandayy

    These are popular channels that many people (myself included) watch consistently. Reviewing these channels would definitely help people know if these YouTubers are appropriate enough to watch.

  2. -Dude Perfect is one a bunch of kids are into. They’re a nominally Christian group that does sports, stereotypes, battles, and a variety show called “overtimes”. They also yell a lot.

    1. – Focus on the Family actually had a video on the adventures in odyssey podcast many years ago that had a trick shot battle between the Whit mascot and dude perfect. I can’t find the video though.

  3. -My son (13) really likes MrBeast, DanTDM, and Mark Rober. MatPat, hosting Game Theory, Food Theory, and Film Theory is also YouTuber he likes. He started watching Game Theory a few years ago, but I thought the content/intended audience was a bit old for him, and I recently have listened to some episodes with him and I think he is old enough now. There was a language issue with MrBeast a while ago, but I think he now has a no cussing policy and seem ok. I still would appreciate hearing Plugged In’s take on them.

    1. -There are a lot of categories that YouTube has, so may Gid be with you as you take on this challenge! If you could, maybe recommend Christian alternatives to YouTube channels that are not suitable for children, as there are good Christian channels that the littles can watch instead.

  4. – Thanks so much for all of your replies, everyone. We’ll definitely take those suggestions into consideration!

  5. – Dear Plugged In,
    I am a teenager myself, and I love to watch YouTube, especially Minecraft YouTubers. Could you do a review of channels such as PrestonPlayz, DanTDM, Stampy Cat (stampylonghead) and Logdotzip?
    Thanks!

  6. – CommonSenseMedia used to do something like this, so I’m glad that PluggedIn is taking on this task!

    I would love to see a review of Good Mythical Morning. Particularly their newer episodes.

  7. – Reviewing Youtube is akin to searching for a needle in an extremely large haystack. I wish you well, however small or virtually unknown channels will sometimes present a content problem.

    Nevertheless, I tip my hat to you.

  8. – I don’t know how you’ll find time for this, I avoid the top Youtube channels if I possibly can because they usually have 5 minutes of introduction before they even address their topics in 8 minute videos. Or, they “recompile” content from original creators and pretend it is not stealing. But, if you do find something good on Youtube I would love to hear about it. Thank you.

  9. – I know it’s not a YouTube channel but I just finished listening to my good old-fashioned CD version Rich Mullins the Jesus record and personally felt more moved than I have since this whole covid-19 thing started. Leave it to Rich to make me feel like this. If you haven’t heard it lately like myself or perhaps not at all I highly recommend you checking it out again or even for the first time ever. It really is one of the best Christian music CDs out there, never mind that it’s now 22 years old.

  10. – I think you all should do a review on Typical Gamer. He plays different games and I wanted to know if they are all good.

  11. – I’m a 14-year-old boy who reads mostly everything on your site since I was 11! The Youtube Channel I want to see your review on DanTDM, Stickbot Channel, and IGN.

  12. – Hey PluggedIn! I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been on YouTube since I was about nine years old. I’ve certainly seen a lot of trends and channels rise and fall, as well as been around with most of the most popular and controversial moments YouTube has experienced. I think reviewing YouTube channels is a very good idea. Since I was nine, I’ve always had to navigate them on my own based on my moral principles. Helping parents decide which YouTube channels are and are not appropriate for their children is a difficult and intimidating task (especially since they don’t have age ratings), and so I’m here to help if you need my Generation Z input.

    Here are some channels that my age group watch and grew up with:

    DanTDM
    Markiplier
    The Official Verne The Turtle YouTube Channel (This is a clean example of modern Gen Z humor)
    Jacksepticeye
    Internet Historian
    H3H3
    Michael Hickox
    Epic Rap Battles of History

    I hope these help get your new endeavor kickstarted! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them.

    Sincerely,
    Lawrence

  13. – LOVE all of these suggestions. Thanks so much! You’ve given us enough to keep us busy for the next six months! Thank you, and keep ’em coming!

  14. -Bad Lip Reading and How It Should Have Ended are also YouTube channels with a fair bit of popularity, and are also examples of channels that actually have substance rather then just people filming themselves playing video games.

  15. -Thanks again, everyone. Just posted our review of Dude Perfect. By the way, it includes a link to a blog we did about the group featuring their trick shot battle with Whit from Adventures in Odysseey.

  16. – HISHE, ya. most of those videos are kid friendly, but there is some stuff that it would be nice to warn parents about.

    1. – HISHE would be a pretty big project. They have their classic How It Should Have Ended videos, HISHE dubs, Villain Pub, Super Cafe, bytesized recaps, HISHE reviews, and Best Picture summerys. One would to spend a lot of time watching HISHE videos to do a review on their channel, and— That actually sounds fun. How does one get to be a reviewer for plugged in?

      1. – I think PI would like HISHE since they’re very careful to avoid swearing. Even when they include Deadpool as a character.

  17. – Vlog creations, who does a ton of (mostly) harmless pranks, would be another one. His pranks have gotten more innocuous as time goes on, but some of his earlier ones got him in trouble with the law.
    Oversimplified, a history channel, offers some really instructive and hilarious history lessons, but with some swearing and innuendo (usually in the context of actual historical events)

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