Whether it’s gaming, social media, pornography, or e-mail, the Internet is a space where addictive behaviour can flourish. Julien Balbontin/THE VARSITY

There are certain things that just make us feel good. It’s hard to understand why we’re attracted to those things, but the answer may lie in their stress relieving abilities. We asked our writers to share the videos that help them get through the tough times; they delved deep and dished about watching everything from pimple-popping videos to old band interviews. Remember: this is a judgment-free zone.


Dr. Pimple Popper

Dr. Sandra Lee, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper, takes pimple popping to a whole new level. She is not your average pimple-popping human, but is actually a qualified dermatologist from Southern California. She is certified to treat skin conditions and extract milia, epidermoid cysts, pilar cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, lipomas, and more!

The feeling of complete satisfaction while watching cyst after cyst become free of the confines of human skin is quite nice. Watching Dr. Pimple Popper successfully extract the cysts with some medical tool after oh so many attempts, causes a sense of gratification to take me over. This exact feeling keeps me coming back for more. In a world full of dissatisfaction, let me justify my strange infatuation with pimple-popping videos — I need some satisfaction in life. In fact, maybe you do, too.
— Grace Manalili

Band interviews

I am obsessed with watching music interviews on the Internet. When I say obsessed, it means that I can go hours watching 45 minute interviews back-to-back. I study each response and bear in mind every facial expression. It’s like the greatest stress reliever. In my early highschool years, One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Mindless Behaviour were my drugs of choice.

Recently, retro interviews have been my favourite. It’s fascinating to see a time when the Internet did not exist and wearing spandex was acceptable. It’s also amazing to see how these artists could become famous without the help of the Internet.

One example of this is Outkast. They were this group from Atlanta who rose to fame in a time when the kings of rap, Biggie and Tupac, were feuding between the east coast and west coast. They were young, ambitious, and hungry to take over the industry. This interview is my favourite because it was the dawn of their stardom. How could they possibly have known that mega-hits like “Hey Ya!” or “Ms. Jackson” were in their future?
— Gabrielle Warren

Travel videos

The Internet and I are best friends. From the confines of Robarts, I can experience delicious food I can’t afford, wear clothes I can’t afford, and travel to amazing places I have never been to — and definitely can’t afford. In my first year at U of T, I unwittingly fell down the rabbit hole of travel videos. Since then I have been to Norway, Italy, Thailand, and anywhere else YouTube wants to take me.

It was in these many searches that I discovered one particularly magical video that changed the game of Internet travelling for me. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, I often find myself overwhelmed by the beast of a city that is Toronto and longing for the Rocky Mountains and the endless sky of my homeland.

The aforementioned magical video is a Travel Alberta advertisement. Whenever the weight of U of T or the bustle of the city makes me feel the need to escape, I simply sit down and watch this video. Sometimes only once, sometimes on repeat, depending on the day. The beauty of it all keeps my stress at bay and reminds me not only that home is never far away, but that the whole world is at my fingertips waiting to be explored, and not just from the Internet.
— Kristen Sevick

Pregnancy announcements

Pregnancy announcements have recently exploded in popularity, garnering millions of views per video. They are are packed with emotion and addictive to watch. Unlike marriage proposals, pregnancy announcements are much shorter, more excitement-filled, and all equally satisfying. The reactions of the family are often extravagant — earphones are highly recommended if watching in public — but considering how much I screamed and jumped when I found out I was getting a little brother, they are accurate. These are my feel-good videos when I need a boost at the end of a long day.
— Linh Nguyen

Haul videos

Consumerism is my lifelong problematic fave. Since my formative pre-teen years, my undying love of fashion has spurred many zealous shopping sprees, as well as a thirst for stylish online content. Haul videos represent the YouTube manifestation of this particular guilty pleasure. They showcase the minute details of the videographer’s recent fashion finds. Vloggers walk the viewer through each piece they purchased on their recent splurge, often organizing them by season and store and even modeling them to demonstrate how they might look with different outfits.

The magic of haul videos, for me, is their accessibility. They condense hours of shopping into easily digestible video segments, allowing the viewers to relive the experience without ever leaving their homes. They are also a source of inspiration; I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen an outfit I liked in a haul and tried to recreate it from my own closet, free of charge. And for those of us who can’t afford to spend $500 on a pair of coveted shoes that will match with nothing in our closets, the best vloggers also create segments that are more financially feasible, including hauls from big-box stores like Target, or thrift stores like Value Village and Goodwill.
— Teodora Pasca

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