DFTBA: Don’t Forget To Be Awesome

By: Claire Frank

If you find yourself craving something more fulfilling than silly cat videos whilst traversing the magical website known as YouTube, look no further than the Vlogbrothers. Consisting of brothers John and Hank Green, the Vlogbrothers talk about a variety of topics ranging from gay marriage, the edge of the universe (no edge), and health care to puppies, anglerfish, and explosions. You may already have heard of the Green brothers. John Green is the bestselling author of multiple novels, including The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, which are very popular amongst teenagers and young adults.

They are also the founders of VidCon. If you’re one of those few people living under a rock who don’t know what VidCon is, think of it as ComicCon but for the YouTube community. If you don’t know what ComicCon is, locate your nearest fangirl or fanboy and prepare yourself for a lot of emotion.

In 2007, John and Hank decided that they would stop all textual communication, and so the Vlogbrothers was born through the experiment known as Brotherhood 2.0. Each day, John or Hank would post a video discussing a multitude of topics. Even after they resumed textual communication, they continued to make videos, not just for each other, but also for their large gathering of DFTBA-wailing fans, known as “nerdfighters.” With their motto, “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome,” or DFTBA, nerdfighters are defined as people fighting towards increasing awesome and decreasing “world suck,” which is defined by Urban Dictionary as “a general term for things that are not awesome. World suck may include but is not limited to: global warming, prejudice, natural disasters, and war.”

Although the videos are meant for those who love learning, you don’t have to identify as a “nerd” to appreciate the channel. The videos promote a higher level of thinking, and even when the topic is somewhat less than serious, the arguments and statements surrounding the topic are presented in an educated and interesting manner.

When you enter the world of the Vlogbrothers, you will discover various things. There are songs performed by Hank, about the universe having no edge, Harry Potter, and Tumblr, as well as lists about cute things, conspiracies, and zombie apocalypses. With over 1,000 videos on the Vlogbrothers channel, there is plenty to experience.

In addition to their main channel, John and Hank run several other side channels. SciShow, run by Hank, talks about various scientific topics, such as deadly diseases, space, and the origins of cute. On Crash Course, John and Hank teach the AP courses World History and Biology. The videos have used by several teachers across the country, including the World History teachers at Tuscarora. There is Hank Games for all the gamers out there, where John, Hank, and Katherine (Hank’s wife) play a variety of popular videos games, and there are also the channels The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is based off Pride and Prejudice, and Truth or Fail, which is an interactive channel where the viewer tries to pick the truth from two presented facts.

No matter who you are or what your interests entail, there is a Vlogbrothers-run YouTube channel out there for you. You’ll laugh, cry, and maybe even learn something. Just like the universe, there’s no edge to the experiences in store for you. Best wishes, DFTBA.