the once and future video star

You think you know YouTube, right? Well lemme tell you something: YouTube is like those robot traffic cops in science movies where all they do is bumble around at intersections until one day they realize that they can do more than help old ladies cross the street. They can also fight off the invading alien army when humanity is down to, like, forty people.

Maybe you’re among those who understand the actual power of YouTube. But I think I speak for a lot of us out there when I say I tended to think of YouTube as the place to find penguin bloopers or to figure out how to fix a flat tire. (I’ve watched both. The first was hilarious! The second I watched while dripping sweat by the side of the highway while cars whizzed past on their stupid fancy tires.)

But that’s it. That’s the extent of what I knew about YouTube.

Well, here’s the thing. (Again, maybe a lot of you already know this.) There’s a whole generation out there where YouTube is ALL THEY WATCH. Like, they don’t watch shows or movies or anything. They watch YouTube videos.

And I’m not even talking about anything as practical as penguin bloopers or fixing flat tires. I’m talking about watching some kid teach you how to make homemade fluffy unicorn slime.

You want to guess how many times the video of DIY Fluffy Slime has been viewed? No? Well, it’s comin’ at ya: 43 million times.

Kids are watching videos of other YouTubers play with toys. Ryan Kaji is 7 years old and has 20 million subscribers. Not six subscribers that all share his last name. TWENTY MILLION.

Finn and Lucy LOVE this stuff. They don’t watch Netflix anymore. They watch Kid’s YouTube. My colleagues follow a similar pattern: Most are women in their twenties and early thirties and they’re not watching shows either – they’re actually streaming YouTube on their TV in their living room and sitting on the couch and watching Mormon families go tomato shopping or DIY videos on how to grow your own denim or just random goofy people who make them laugh.

The world is changing fast, people. 

So why do I bring this up? This is why:

You may recall from my last blog that Lucy wanted to make a YouTube channel. She wanted to tell stories just like the YouTubers she watches. She wanted to share the Grennan life with people.

You may also recall that I was afraid to do it. I didn’t want her to be disappointed by the fact that people wouldn’t really want to watch the Grennan channel.

So instead we made a lot of cute practice videos, pretending we were talking to millions of viewers. I always told her that someday soon we would start an actual channel, but I didn’t really mean it.

Lucy persisted. “Let’s just DO it, Dad!” she would say every night before bed. “Come ON! It’ll be FUN!”

So I decided to trust Lucy. I decided that instead of trying to squash her fearlessness, I would try to learn from it.

So….we did. We started a YouTube channel. Here’s what happened on our first video:

At first we decided to call it GTube and then we promptly decided we didn’t want that name because it was also the name of a pretty serious medical procedure and we didn’t really feel like “serious medical procedures” was the vibe of this channel.

We did videos on backyard camping and gymnastics and the perks of being an author and family road trips.  We have Lizzie featured on a bunch of them (which are my favorites). We also did one about how Lucy betrayed me on our trip to Washington DC. That’s this one:

So it’s a different way of telling stories. We’ve been posting twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, which is a lot but we did it because we know we’re going to fall down and embarrass ourselves so often that we figured if we post enough maybe, statistically-speaking, there will be times when we don’t embarrass ourselves.

Or maybe the POINT is to embarrass ourselves. Because that’s what fearlessness is. It’s being afraid that people will make fun of us or that nobody will watch and deciding to charge ahead anyway.

That’s who Team Grennan wants to be. The family that practices fearlessness, even as we feel that fear.

All this is to say:

We would LOVE if you wanted to follow along with us! A lot of you already know how to do that – just SUBSCRIBE to our channel here and hit LIKE on our videos!! If you’ve never subscribed to a channel on YouTube before, all you need is a Google account. (If you have Gmail, you’re off to the races!) (I say all this because up until a couple of weeks ago I myself didn’t know how to do any of this. Again, y’all probably already know this stuff.)

And BTW – I’m still writing on the blog, but I have to do it less because SUPER COOL things are happening with my book coming out in October (pre-order here!!) which means I’m already writing a TON on Book Two of the Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted. Woo hoo!!

Okay friends – as always, thanks so much for your encouragement. It means everything to me. And hope to see you following us on our YouTube channel!

By | 2019-07-17T08:05:37-04:00 July 17th, 2019|4 Comments


  1. Jessie July 17, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I love the YouTube channel and look forward to new posts from the Grennan family

    • Conor July 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Jessie!

  2. Marcy Prager July 17, 2019 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I can’t wait until your book comes out! I have so many interested students I tutor who would love it! As for the blog, never stop writing! Your humor is needed as well as your wisdom! And yes, YOUTUBE has taken over. While teaching full time, I always used it to find “introductions” to an aspect of culture I was teaching. I took many video introductions myself when I visiting India, Ghana, Japan, China, Hopiland, etc. I never posted them on YouTube, but I did make many PowerPoints, inserting the movies in them.

    When my grandson is older, (he is now 2 1/2), I might try to make YouTubes with him. He loves the camera and is extremely loquacious, humorous, and is very interested in projects…

    • Conor July 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Great idea! I love doing this with kids, it’s so rewarding to get the different perspectives!

Leave A Comment

I’m really bad at giving directions. Not because I’m too…