Members of the older generation have the sort of wholesome, thoughtful way of communicating which couldn’t be further from the emoji filled WhatsApp conversations of millennial life.
When living abroad in my early twenties, I could always count on my grandma to send me a regular, handwritten letter on proper floral writing paper, complete with all the latest goings on back home.
This was a huge – and adorable – comfort at a time when I was tenuously connected with family members and friends through blurry Skype chats and Facebook comments.
Now one elderly YouTuber/world grandpa has taken the internet by storm, all through the power of good, old-fashioned manners.
Nilson Izaias Papinho has so far released 29 videos on YouTube, proving a few grey hairs and some hard won wisdom are no barrier to becoming a viral influencer.
Nilson’s videos reveal an eclectic range of interests, from gardening to cake. Several of his videos are dedicated to the art of making slime, which are rather relaxing to watch, even if you have long outgrown the playground.
As January came to a close, Nilson had a very respectable number of subscribers – approximately 7,000 – but did not let this go to his head.
With what must have taken significant effort, Nilson wrote down all the names of his subscribers in a notebook, as a means of thanking them. He then showed the list in a heartwarming, gratitude filled video.
Nilson’s loyal fanbase have shown their appreciation for this lovely man, referring to him fondly in the comments as ‘friend’ or ‘grandpa’.
One person commented, ‘you deserve everything good’, while other exclaimed, ‘You are so cute ! I barely entered this channel and I already love it!’
And Nilson has clearly touched hearts from all over the world, with one commenter stating:
I don’t speak Portuguese but this is such a cute and wholesome channel so I’ll subscribe.
Following this overload of cuteness, Nilson’s popularity boomed with subscribers. His precious cosy nook of a channel now boasts well over 3.6 million at the time of writing.
What an absolute gent Nilson is. While many YouTubers use shock and sensation to boost their subscribers, Nilson has shown how being a sweet, thoughtful person also holds the power to influence and inspire.
I can only hope that Nilson will now spark a revolution of general niceness, with people moved to send thank you notes to those who have helped them along the rocky road of life.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.