Zeefarer TV and ByaheNiEdward are only two among the numerous YouTube channels produced by seafarers, catering to fellow seafarers

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In 2014, a seafarer surfaced on Facebook, his videos catching the attention of his audience, most of them his fellow seafarers and maritime students. Edward, as he is known online, wanted to show the world what it’s like for seafarers living and working on ships, and what it’s like for them at home. His viewers appreciated his authenticity and got hooked on his uploaded Facebook videos. So much so that one suggested that Edward consider having his own YouTube channel.  That was his turning point.

Edward gave it a try. He studied every aspect of vlogging, and in 2017, launched his official YouTube channel, Byahe Ni Edward. Aimed at broadening the viewers’ understanding of the seafaring world, and opening up a platform for exchange of ideas among seafarers, Edward has been continually producing videos and he now has 45,000 subscribers.

With more than half of our seafarers having internet access on board, the ability to reach out to others increases as well. What used to be conversations over beer in the pubs now take place online. Video blogging or ‘vlogging’ has become one of the most popular avenues to influence others, be it patronize businesses, buy a brand, or advocate favorite causes.  And seafarers are no exemption.

Edward of Byahe ni Edward vlogs about the life of seamen at sea, on shore, and on vacation. 

One of Edward’s subscribers is Zee, a deck cadet who admits he was so inspired by Edward’s passion as a vlogger that in 2018, he also launched his own channel, Zeefarer TV. A newbie in the maritime world, Zee wanted to preserve his memories. He wanted to be able to relive his first onboard experiences when he watched his videos in the future. He never thought of widening his reach but only after a year of YouTube presence, Zeefarer TV already has 14,000 subscribers.

Zee of Zeefarer TV is a newbie to vlogging, but is building up his following 

This only goes to show that social media platforms are now becoming avenues for all in the seafaring world to address issues and open up conversations that are highly relevant in the industry. Edward is driven to raise awareness of other people regarding seafaring life and he also makes use of what he earns from YouTube to help the underprivileged and homeless children. Zee, on the other hand, is dedicated to correct misconceptions and predominant notions which taint the name of our maritime nation.

One downside of this easy access and widespread public attention is that it also opens up vloggers and bloggers to negative attention. Their online presence is also an invitation for harsh criticism and bashing, and even cruel bullying.

Still, because of their passion and dedication, their advocacies and values intact, vloggers like Edward and Zee choose to continue recording and uploading videos, their hearts on display for all to see. They prove that with the responsible use of technology, advancement, and the internet, we can all bridge gaps, speak our minds and hearts so that others could learn from us, be inspired and influenced by us, and make a significant change with and for us.

And for all of us who believe in the nobleness of positively influencing our fellows at sea and ashore, we will always press the play button.

Elijah Jose Barrios

Elijah Jose Barrios is a 24-year old Third Officer, Teacher, and Course Developer. He advocates for child literacy and youth empowerment through his involvement in different organizations.  He considers himself an appreciator of any form of art and usually puts all his realizations into writing.