There are three kinds of YouTube channels in my subscriptions (among others).
Channels that have medium length videos based on politics, economics, history, and what may happen in the future e.g. PolyMatter, CaspianReport, RealLifeLore. These channels are impersonal. While watching them I feel I learned something. But in fact I’ve not learned anything except a few bits and pieces of stats that I can’t explain. Soon after I can’t recall anything about the video but the topic.
Channels that talk about facts (what) and why (history and present situation). These channels have a personality. Many of these videos contain personal experiences of creators with some opinion at times. E.g. CGP Grey, Tom Scott, VSauce, Wendover Productions, Rick Steves, Oversimplified. After watching these I become curious and feel like I want to explore the world. There is so much more to know and see and how little I’m gonna see in my lifetime so I should stop wasting it.
Channels that have utility and provide learning and sometimes information that I can use more immediately (information provided by other channels is also useful but not actionable). For example, 3blue1brown, fitness channels, cooking channels. I actually learn some skills that I can use in real life. They also give me new appreciation for the world we live in.
Of course there are many other channels that I’ve subscribed to that may or may not fit neatly in the above classification (like John Oliver).
I feel like I spent more time with channels in the first category in 2022. I can usually recall almost nothing after watching a video from this genre though while watching I feel I’m learning something really important. It’s not my domain and probably that’s why not very useful to me. In fact, I’m more likely to zone out when watching this genre.
This year, I plan to not watch the category 1 but instead watch the channels with more utility and actionable information. I think the information from them is definitely more memorable because it can be put in practice (e.g. a recipe from Jamie Oliver or mathematics from 3blue1brown). Then I can spend some time on channels in category 2 (many of them like CGP Grey, Vsauce and Oversimplified seldom post content).