The most wholesome YouTube trend? Watching people study for hours

Finally, a YouTube trend parents can get behind. It’s called gongbang: videos of people studying.

It all started when a student in South Korea wanted to prove to his parents that he was studying. And it seems to be helping students hit the books.

Some videos have music in the background, but most do not. There is the sound of rain outside a student’s apartment in Korea, or a cat walking by the camera as a student in Canada studies for a business class.

YouTube channel “The Strive to Fit” has some videos that have been watched over 2 million times, and it has nearly 158,000 subscribers.

Not everybody gets it. When I asked people to watch the videos, the reaction always the same.

“What would make people hit like, or keep their attention for more than 2 seconds? I’m already bored,” one person I talked with said.

What makes the videos so popular with students, I’ve found, is that they can have a study buddy even when they’re alone.

Another YouTuber, whose channel is called “The man sitting next to me” livestreams for hours every day with hundreds of people watching. Every comment is positive. “I’ve studied maths and chemistry with you. Very relaxing. Thank You” and “I feel like I have a study buddy.”

Studying is extremely important in Korea and other Asian countries. Some students will study for seven to 10 hours a day — and some of them, do it on YouTube.

Another perk of this trend? The YouTubers creating the videos can earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars through advertising.