A YouTube channel of irrational fears... that I can't stop watching
Instead of sending me down a spiral, "What If" makes me feel less alone in my head.
There’s a YouTube channel I watch when I can’t sleep called What If. Maybe you’ve heard of it, and maybe you even follow it (it’s pretty popular and has nearly 5.5 million subscribers).
If you’re not familiar, the channel is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of scenarios along with what would likely follow were they to actually happen. For instance, in this video titled, “What If All the Passengers on a Plane Jumped at Once?”, the narrator calmly explains that the answer is… barely anything. What a relief!
In “What If Earth Were Sucked Into a Black Hole?” we learn that the planet would go through something called “spaghettification.” No need to worry, however, as we’d all likely die from being hit by asteroids or fried by the radiation. Less of a relief!
Some scenarios are fairly realistic:
What if we had a worldwide pandemic? (From early February 2020… eek!)
What if a COVID-19 vaccine were available tomorrow? (This was obviously published prior to vaccines being available, but the video breaks down the realities of vaccination campaigns — they take time!)
Others were just a bit little less realistic:
What if half the population of Earth was wiped out? (This came out around the time as Avengers: Endgame.)
And others still were… well, for lack of a better term: nightmare fuel:
Why do I watch these? Oddly enough, I think it’s that I find it somewhat comforting that I’m not alone in understanding what would happen if some of my most bizarre and irrational fears came true.
I have a tendency to catastrophize. The inside of my head is a collection of horrors I can’t stop obsessing over. I fully understand that some fears — like human-sized spiders or being the last human alive and trapped in space — are completely and totally irrational. Others — like “What Happens If You Get COVID-19?” and “What Happens If You Were Hospitalized With COVID-19?” — are absolutely reasonable things to be concerned about.
There are some helpful guides to managing catastrophic thinking online. For me, the most important step is simple: realize when I’m doing it! Once I realize that I’m catastrophizing, I can start to address the problem at its core. For some weird reason, the What If YouTube channel helps out with that.
What are some YouTube channels that help you get through tough times? I’d love to hear about them.