RIKKI POYNTER: So, as someone who has been making online content for years and has made herself vulnerable on the internet, I do get comments from many people from all walks of life asking me, like, tips on... When it comes to making videos, they get very, very nervous and so they come to me and they come to other YouTubers, especially if they're in the same group as them, and they ask, "Should I make YouTube videos "or, if I make a YouTube video, how should I do this? "I'm very nervous about it. "I'm afraid that nobody's gonna watch. "I'm afraid that nobody's going to care about anything that I have to say. "I'm afraid that I'm gonna get made fun of," and, you know, all this kinds of stuff because comments on the internet can be painful.


I mean, I've gotten these comments from disabled people, other deaf people. My fellow LGBT friends have gotten comments from other LGBT viewers who have the same concerns, are so scared about this kind of stuff, and, honestly, the only thing they have to say about this is "share your story". Not everybody is the same. While we may be in the same group, so, disabled people and deaf people, LGBT, you know, people of colour, you know, we have... We share similar experiences and similar issues and similar things of oppression but, at the same time, we're all very different. So, like, disabled people, there's different disabilities and people experience oppression differently.


Deaf people, there's all different kinds of deaf people. Signing deaf people, mainstream deaf people, those that are kind of in the middle and trying to figure out, you know, where to go in that regard. Deafblind people, other deaf disabled people. You know, a deaf person who might also have a more physical disability that's, you know, maybe they use a wheelchair, stuff like that. So many similarities but, at the same time, so many different experiences, so many different stories. And even if two people experience the same kind of oppression, that's still a story worth sharing from both of those people.


I completely understand being nervous about sharing stories and being vulnerable. When I first started, when everybody else first started, it was a little bit nerve-racking to be behind the camera and to risk people watching, especially if your numbers are just going higher and higher. That's more people that are watching and that's a higher chance of people possibly being cruel to others. But, at the same time, what positivity did you get out of it or what positive things do you get out of it?


One - you're probably going to be teaching somebody that knew absolutely nothing about what it is that you're talking about. Not every person that wants to learn about deaf history or deaf issues, whatever, is gonna find my videos. That's just not realistic. But they might find somebody like the two Jessicas that are out there, Seek the World. There's so many different kinds of people. So, you have the chance of educating somebody because chances are, if you never put out that video, that one person that would've found it wouldn't know anything.


The other positive thing to come out of it is the fact that you might be able to help someone that was just or is just like you and help them feel a little bit better. I get comments, other people get comments from people that are like, "Well, I've had the same experiences but I felt so alone "and I'm so glad that I found your videos "because now that's going to inspire me to do all the things that I wanted to do "but I was too scared to do because, you know, "this whatever it is that's a part of my life was possibly holding me back." It's important to let people know... Even in the same, like, marginalised community that you're in, it's important to let people know that not all deaf people are a monolith, not all disabled people are a monolith. LGBT, people of colour, you know, all these groups. It's important to teach people that we're not all a monolith. We're not all the same.


So, you know, pick up that camera that you might've just bought. Use that iPhone, that Android, whatever, that you might have, your laptop webcam, whatever it is, and make that video that you've been wanting to make or, if you don't want to make videos, if you want to write articles because that's a thing, write that article, pick up that notebook and pen, you know, if you want to do it that way first. I mean, who doesn't love a good notebook and pen? Put that down into a Google Doc later and upload it. Sure, you might run into somebody that doesn't like what you have to say and then they're like, "I'm gonna pick on you a little bit," but, if you find that one person that was really moved by what you had to say, it's a pretty awesome feeling. Thank you for watching and I'll see you later. Bye.

You may also like:

How to help students with an ASD at university

The numbers of students seeking university places and successfully achieving entrance in the US has increased by 800% in

Welcoming Students with an ASD to University

“Students with an ASD (including the old diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome) can be some of our most able academics. Their

What About The Young People With An ASD Not Going To University?

We hear a lot about youngsters with an ASD at university now. More and more people with an ASD are both succeeding in an...